1 Samuel 1: 20-28

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  • Now You See Him

    by Carl Wilton
    “Parents are like God,” wrote the preacher William Sloane Coffin, “when they provide maximum support and minimum protection.” One person who demonstrated this style of parenting is Jacqui Kess-Gardner, and her husband James. They live in Baltimore. The story of their extreme parenting challenges began more than thirty years ago, in a hospital delivery room. Jacqui had just given birth to her second child. “Mrs. Gardner,” said the nurse, “something’s wrong here!” The doctor shot her an angry glance. “I looked in horror,” Jacqui wrote, later, “as the nurse pulled back the blanket to show us our son. One eye was sealed shut. The other was a milky mass. He had no bridge to his nose and his face looked crushed. Although I knew I should take him in my arms and hold him, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. The nurse whisked him away.” Minutes later, Jacqui was on the phone to her mother. She’d been watching the couple's other son, Jamaal. “It’s a boy,” Jacqui sobbed over the phone. “His eyes won’t open. His face is deformed. I don’t think I can handle this. What am I RELEASING THE LOVE going to do, Mom?” “My question hung in the air.” Jacqui continued. “Then Mom said in quiet, measured tones, ‘You will bring him home. These are the children we hold dear. Bring him home and nurture him.” Jacqui’s mother’s words, it seems to me — could be the mission statement for all Christian parenting. “These are the children we hold dear.” No apologies. No conditions. No explanations. Just a statement of fact. “We do it because it’s what we do. Any questions?”

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