On Saturday night, somewhere in the middle of a plate of tacos and a cup of frozen custard, I think I accidentally signed myself up for a truckload of trouble.
Pray for me.
It’s graduation season here in Michigan, which means that parents of high school seniors host large parties, feeding hordes of friends and family. Of course Eric and I wanted to wish Collin and Geoffrey well, but also (and this point cannot be understated) the food at these parties was going to be excellent. Collin’s mom is known far and wide as an excellent cook. Overheard repeatedly: “Did you taste the salsa?” “This is my third plate.” And “Wait a minute, where’d you get those beans?”
We left Collin’s party full and happy, and headed to Geoffrey’s party to eat more. Geoffrey’s dad is a part-owner of our favorite frozen custard joint and they had a sundae bar, thank you Lord. Overheard: “Congratulations-Geoffrey-holy-cow-did-you-see-they-have-peanut-butter-sauce!”
So I may not have had my wits about me as I started talking to our minister. I was high on tacos, people. I can’t be held responsible. I may have asked Jason how things were going, and he may have mentioned we need more small groups at the church so we can get people plugged in. We have a lot of new people, but our congregation finds that small groups really help to build those relationships a healthy church needs.
So. Jason also mentioned one of the small groups needs a place to meet. And he may (again, due to my taco intake I don’t remember the specifics) have suggested our house because we have room. I sort of remember exclaiming, “That’s why we bought the house!” Which is true, because we made sure the new house would work for these sorts of things.
At some point in the conversation Jason pointed out a crucial fact: three couples are already actively involved in this group, and all three wives are pregnant. These are not good odds, and obviously there is something wrong with the air/water/food when these people get together.
His warning was clear. The small group is coming anyway, and we’re even thinking of inviting two other couples we know from outside the church who are also pregnant. I mean, why the heck not? Let’s up the ante.
I’m taking my chances because I remember those days of pregnancy and new babies all too well. They were exhausting and I was a basket case. I needed women to come alongside me with clear heads and patient words to keep me steady, to remind me a sense of humor might be the only thing to get me through the day, and– most importantly– to pray for me.
I hope it’s my turn to offer that to new families. Eric and I can be the ones a few steps ahead, taking babies out of tired arms and praying for people who haven’t had a whole night of sleep for months.
I’m hoping God isn’t using this experience to trick me into having another baby. Just in case, I’ll be drinking bottled water, wearing a mask, and bringing my own sealed food to all meetings.
Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:13-14
(Lord, you proved your point with Sarah. I believe. I have learned her lesson, Father. Thank you and amen.)