Monday, March 14, 2011

The Sleep of the Righteous

This baby has the most grating, life shattering cry I think I've ever come across. And she can go from basic happiness to full throated hysteria in about 24 seconds. This is the result, apparently, of giving birth to a huge healthy baby with a great pair of lungs. We're so used to tiny delicate squeaky little babies who gently cry and coo. We continue, day by day, to be in shock of this cry.

Nevertheless, the size of this baby means that she is, at one month old, essentially sleeping through the night. You know what I mean--you know that incredible moment when a baby sleeps from like 11pm to 3am or 10:30 to 2:30am. New babies don't do that. It takes like six months to get there--six months of feeding at 6pm, 8pm, 10pm, at which point you try to decide whether to go to sleep or stay up till 12am, 2am, 4am and then you might be able to push it to 7am, but only with prayer and fasting. To have a baby go to sleep between 9 and 10 EVERY NIGHT and just sleep straight through till 3 is beyond anything I could have imagined. I'm getting as much sleep now as I did before giving birth, sometimes more.

This is another proof of a private hypothesis I've been mulling over for the last year: Nothing Is Quite As Bad As You Think It Will Be and likewise Nothing Is Quite As Good. Its the constant mingling tension between Sin and Providence.

I always like to expect the worse so as to be as disappointed as possible. But I've found, since I've been purposing to take notice, that I'm never quite as disappointed as I expect to be. Take giving birth, for example. I worked myself into a fit before going into the hospital about all the bad things that were going to happen to me (like giving birth). I took every opportunity to point out to God how badly it was going, but eventually I had to give in and admit that it wasn't go badly at all--on the whole a smooth and trouble free time.

And yet, to be further honest, it was not a sunshine path. The reason I got so worked up is in fact because of what was taking place. The presence of suffering and trial and sin is not imagined. Its just never quite as bad as I expect it will be.

That's sort of been my prayer for Japan over the last 24 hours. Its really bad. It seems to be getting worse. But I hope and pray that Providence will encroach and take over. That every blanket that's passed out, every parcel of food or bottle of water will relieve the ache and bring enough comfort--not as much as anyone would like, certainly, but enough. That's generally what God promises, enough.

So I'm getting enough sleep, and I'm really grateful.

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