Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Time for the Carnival of Tonya!

Well, I haven't been in much of a blogging mood lately, but my lovely bride has been cranking them out.

Blog, posts that is. Although the phrase "cranking them out" somehow seems appropriate to a pregnant mother of 3 kids ages six and under....


On April 7, as she was thinking about Tax Time, she did this post on responsibility. She is coming to the conclusion that personal responsibility is increasingly a counter-cultural virtue; that we tend to "delegate" away our responsibilities, from finances to education to child-rearing.

Then, on April 11 she posted about her sudden urge to get all the loose ends in our life wrapped up now, before the baby comes next month. Now, it's a well-observed phenomenon that expecting mothers get this terrible urge to clean, rearrange furniture, and get everything ready, just a few days (or hours!) before they get this terrible urge to push. Tonya was wondering whether her urge to wrap everything up was a manifestation of this "Nesting Instinct". Have to say, though, I'm skeptical. Tonya gets like this periodically whether or not she's eight months pregnant....

But I really liked her latest post. The Biblical book of Job is my favorite book of the Bible, because of all the hard questions it tackles head-on. What is justice? What is truth? What is wisdom? Why do good people suffer? Why do bad people so often not suffer? What should we do when events occur that run completely contrary to our faith? The book of Job tackles all this very challenging material in an intellectually stimulating way, and with a surprising amount of (often very black) humor.

My favorite line of the book is Job 12:1. After a rather self-righteous and ignorant speech by one of Job's friends deriding Job's wisdom and trying to get him to repent of his (non-existent) sins, Job just rolls his eyes and delivers this sarcastic gem--which for full effect, you have to read out loud:
No doubt, you aaaare the people, and wisdom will diiiiie with you....

Appropriate inflection added by me, but was undoubtedly in the original.... :-)

Tonya expands on a point that I made back in December, but does it from a more theological direction. I mentioned that we were taking the news of our Trisomy 13 baby better than so many of the people around us were. Well, Tonya mentioned that she's been understanding lately something of what Job went through. It's not that we're suffering anything like he did--that's not it. Rather, imagine what Job must have been thinking while listening to his friends' theological babblings--how he must have been thinking, "They have absolutely no idea what they're talking about," and, "how shallow and unthinking their 'wisdom' is!" and, "how in the world do I explain what I know in such a way that they'll actually get it?" and "'s like I'm talking to a wall here..."

Well, Tonya has been noticing lots of people greeting her at church with well-meaning attempts to bolster her faith, without really understanding Tonya's situation, or how much faith she already has. (Incidentally, that's my assessment.) We meet people who have been praying for us that God would deliver us from this trial--by healing the baby, or otherwise making everything better. Well, we'd certainly be grateful if God decided to do something highly miraculous and give us a perfectly healthy little girl.

Of course, that would take about the same size and kind of miracle as God deciding spontaneously to turn her into a boy.

So we nod our heads and smile, and thank them for their concern; there's no need to get into theological debates with your well-wishers, if you can avoid it. But Tonya's given a whole lot more thought to this than they have, because it's happening to her; and as such, she may well be seeing God's work a bit more clearly. God does not just make life easy for his people. Rather, he gives his people what they need. And sometimes God's people need trials that make them stronger, that bolster their faith, that give them sympathy for the suffering of other people around them. A miraculous healing of our baby would certainly be appreciated; but for us to endure this trial with faith and grace, and to emerge on the other side of this trial with greater strength and experience, may well serve the true needs of the Kingdom of God better.

Anyway, I'm summarizing a wee bit too much of what Tonya was writing, so I'll suggest that you go over there and read the whole thing.

(By the way... It's this kind of thinking that I saw in her, that convinced me that I needed to marry her in the first place....)

1 comment:

A. Jean said...

In reference to your last comment on Tonya - Tim we are all so happy you decided to marry Tonya. She's made a great addition to our family. We're happy her family was included in this marriage, too!