There's a little boy who is a month old today, but he shouldn't be. He should be settled in comfortably for a whole 'nother trimester of growth inside of mama before his lungs and heart and gut and kidneys and immune system and everything else have to function on their own. But things didn't work out that way. And after several weeks of heroic efforts by mama and her doctors to buy every possible extra day on the inside for this wee one, delaying the delivery was no longer possible. After a couple of terrifyingly close calls, they got him just barely across the line where he had a fighting chance.

It's been a fight. He's in a top-of-the-line NICU, hooked up to the standard array of machines and monitors for such a micro-preemie, doing the best technology can do to imitate the support that his mother's body would naturally provide during these crucial weeks of development. But there's no avoiding the fact that there's only so much machines and medications can accomplish, and his tiny body is being forced into functions that it's really not ready for yet. In many respects, he is amazingly rising to the challenge. But it hasn't been a steady uphill climb. For those of us watching from the outside, it feels like, just when it's starting to feel like things are all moving in the right direction, something new goes wrong. I can't begin to comprehend what this rollercoaster feels like for his parents.

He's beautiful. You're going to have to trust me on this, because I'm not going to invade his family's privacy by posting pictures out here on the open internet. I've shared his picture (it's the wallpaper on my iPod) with a few friends and family members, and am always startled that they're startled by how small he is and all the tubes and cables he's hooked up to. I hardly even notice those things anymore; I just see Jonathan: a tiny, beautiful, growing, much-loved little boy.

I find that words alone do not adequately carry my prayers for this little one.  (Indeed, I was grateful that, when I learned that Jonathan's birth was imminent, I was with another friend who also loves this family, because I couldn't find the words to pray at all in that moment. "Amen" was about all I could manage.) So I've been listening to music a lot more in the last month than I have for several years. The play list keeps growing as I discover/remember/am introduced to songs that somehow express what I hope and pray for this friend I've never met.  Here's the latest version of my prayer mix play list for Jonathan:


Steven McMullen said...

Thanks Rachel for a beautiful post. I will tell you one thing that has helped make the last two months bearable for us. It is having friends who are close to God praying for him and us even when we can't.

Come visit us and meet Jonathan!


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