Responding with Grace

The SCOTUS ruling and announcement about same-sex marriage blew up my Facebook account.

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Lots of people have lots to say. Most of it isn’t all that helpful. In fact, some of it is simply hateful. But here are two examples of responses from two friends of mine on Facebook. One’s a Christian, and one’s not. But they both gracefully acknowledged the tension and spoke with grace towards others they might not fully agree with. I love that I can call these two gentlemen my friends.

From my Christian friend, Rory:

“Marriage can be hard. In a marriage, love only wins when you consistently, over a long period of time, make the sort of choices that don’t always feel “lovely” or “winning.” It requires commitment, a long-term perspective, humility, a willingness to consider someone else over yourself, a willingness to prepare for the possibility and responsibility of raising children, a denial of consumerism and selfishness and cheap promises, and an investment into and from your community.

Above all it requires the conviction that there are very, very few things, perhaps only death or sustained / serious infidelity, that truly amount to acceptable reasons for ending a marriage. This might mean that over the years you discover that you’ve actually married a few different “people” rather than the one person to whom you spoke vows. It is only under these conditions (and more) that marriage truly acts as a fundamental building block for society, as the SCOTUS mentioned in their ruling yesterday.

So, to same-sex couples who can now marry: sincere congratulations, but also, welcome to the long, good, hard struggle. I hope, for the sake of our children and grandchildren and societal flourishing, that you are in this for the long haul, and that as a result of more people having access to legal marriage we can start to see more of the benefits to society that marriage provides. It will be good to have more allies in the struggle against broken commitments, no-fault divorces, and children who are orphaned / parentless / shuffled-around-between-warring-parties / all that.”


From my non-Christian friend, Eric:

“To those who are disappointed by yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on the legality of gay marriage, I hear your anger. I don’t share it, but I hear you. I understand that you feel disgusted and horrified at the sin you feel this country is permitting, and that you may not feel the same pride in our nation as so many of us do at this moment. You have every right to these feelings and to continue disapproving of homosexuality, although you will likely face significant challenges from others each time you express these thoughts. I expect that these challenges will become stronger in the months and years to come. I truly hope that you won’t use these challenges as a reason for extricating yourselves from our collective society.

If you can find it in your hearts to forgive those who you feel are misguided, sinful, and deceived in their feelings of love for another person, I hope you will do so. It will bring you peace. I also hope you may find the courage to direct this anger and disgust toward other fights. Your anger and faith are ideal weapons for fighting poverty, sickness, violence, and hatred in our own communities and across the globe. I’m certain you will find many more allies in these fights than you have in your fight against gay marriage — you would have my support and my allegiance, at the very least. If you can bring the same level of organization and dedication to these other battles, I guarantee that we will have every chance of creating a truly just and loving world.

To my friends who are thrilled with this ruling, and especially to my gay friends for whom this changes everything, congratulations! This has been a long, and difficult, and uphill climb from the start. It’s so incredible to see these accomplishments come into being, when they often seemed so far from the realm of possibility. Your expressions of love, tolerance, and acceptance are a joy to have in this world, and I am so happy that you now have these equal rights in the eyes of the law. Whether or not you choose to marry, keep this spirit of love in your heart for all people. Celebrate this ruling, and celebrate your love. Please remember that those who oppose you will not change their hearts and minds by being told they are wrong. Their hearts and minds will only change by seeing you love and be loved. Stay vigilant, stay beautiful, and let us continue our push for equal rights and opportunities for all.”

A Good Statement on Friendship

A Good Statement on Friendship

I’m currently taking a class entitled “Gender Issues in Counseling” and we were assigned to read a book that is specifically addressed to the opposite gender. So all the men in the class read a book that was written with a woman audience in mind. All the women read a book written for men. It’s a way to hear what is being written on the popular broadly evangelical level for specific genders. Usually these books are minimally helpful and perpetuate issues between the genders. However, I think I chose a pretty decent book. It is called Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman’s Choices.

I could list a whole bunch of quotes from the book that I find to be incredibly insightful or even convicting, but I was delighted to read a few places in which they really focus on the importance of friendship in one’s life. I couldn’t agree more and it has been somewhat of a soapbox issue for me in times past. We devalue the role of intimate friendships and idolize the marriage relationship. Anyway, here’s a brief passage from the book that I liked:

Yet, ironically and sadly, if anything, friendship is undervalued and even suspected at times. The broader American culture and the evangelical subculture have almost made a god of marriage and family; young people are pressured early to “get going” in this direction. One of my students said, “We’re told generally that it’s important to have friends, but no one talks about the value of lasting friendships.” She added, “Everyone talks about ‘authentic community’ but the specific benefits of friendship are not included in the discussion.” In fact, as another young woman noted, “friendship is not even addressed; everything else seems to be more important.” It is no wonder then that one often sees women diminishing, neglecting, and even dropping their friendships with other women for the sake of their dating lives, putting a pressure and expectation on the dating process it cannot sustain or may even be crippled by. How often I have heard girls tell me that they seldom see a good friend anymore because “she’s dating.” And too often, women accept that loss because it has come to seem appropriate, even expected. Friendship is sacrificed to the culturally prioritized romantic relationship, not appreciated for the inestimable contribution it makes to a fully realized life.

Affirming the problem, Eugene Peterson writes that “friendship is a much underestimated aspect of spirituality. It’s every bit as significant as prayer and fasting. Like the sacramental use of water and bread and wine, friendship takes what’s common in human experience and turns it into something holy.” Peterson then refers to the much-addressed friendship between David and Jonathan and says that it was “essential to David’s life.” In fact, he adds, “It’s highly unlikely that David could have persisted in serving Saul without the friendship of Jonathan…. Jonathan’s friendship entered David’s soul in a way that Saul’s hatred never did.”

Friends have been true mirrors to me, showing me myself, reflecting back to me an ugly spot in my soul, and reminding me of something good I had thought or done when I couldn’t remember. Friends have told me the truth about a direction I was headed or a relationship I had chosen. They have brought me back from the brink of disaster. Friends have prayed for me faithfully when I was sick, when I was overwhelmed by too great a task. Friends have written notes at just the right time, made a phone call, or come for a visit. With friends I have had the great conversations of my life. Those friends have been younger, older, and my age; few of them have had the same education or occupation as I have. More than anything, my best friends have always been mutual, receiving and giving, listening and talking, and above all remembering—remembering what is important to me and asking the right questions. I am fortunate to have a number of friendships still present in my life that go back decades, some of them to my childhood, a number to my young adulthood. They call to mind my history, the geography of my life’s events, and more important, they preserve the map of my mind and spirit.”

De Rosset, Rosalie (2012-07-24). Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman’s Choices (Kindle Locations 2510-2532). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Hello, Goodbye. Goodbye, Hello.

For whatever reason I have consistently been able to say goodbye well. This doesn’t make goodbyes easy to do or say for me, but I have been blessed in being able to end relationships and chapters in my life with healthy closure.

When you grow up in a community where the population is basically 98% white, you really miss out on some of the enhancing elements of other ethnicities and cultures. So when I came in contact with anyone that was different than me, I was instantly intrigued. Perhaps no more so than on the first day of seventh grade when a puffy-haired, quiet Japanese boy walked in late to my first class, Percussion. I don’t believe we had assigned seats at the time, but we were all sitting in two rows of plastic band chairs. There was an empty seat beside me. When he walked in I could tell he was a bit overwhelmed, eyes scattering to and fro. I wanted him to sit next to me. I motioned for him to come sit in the empty chair next to me. His eyes caught mine, noticed the empty chair, and he started over my way.

This Japanese boy would soon become my window into another culture. The Japanese culture. As I helped him with his basic English, he taught me some Japanese words. As it turned out, we also had Home Economics together. We made cookies and even Hungarian Bubble Loafs together. We became friends, and as it turned out he would influence me in some pretty dramatic ways.

In the middle of my freshman year of high school, my Japanese friend told me that he had to go back to Japan. His dad’s company wanted him to go back, and so they had to leave before the school year ended. I was pretty sad about this. He really had become a friend of mine. We had been in marching band and other percussion groups together. I had even started taking Japanese at my high school, as well as some of my other friends who had gotten to know him.

The time eventually came for him to get ready to go back to Japan. A group of friends of mine threw a small party for him. But before he left, I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him as a friend. I wrote a long letter (like 5-7 pages) reflecting on our friendship and how he had impacted my life. It was my way of accepting that we had to say goodbye. It was my way of honoring my dear friend. Hopefully it meant as much to him as it did to me.

That was really my first goodbye of any real sense. I do remember moving from Omaha, Nebraska to Indianapolis when I was five. We left our families behind and moved into a new chapter of life. But I was five. And all I remember was being excited about moving into a new house and making new friends.

My closest friends from high school I still have not had to say goodbye to. Although we took different college and career paths we have nearly all moved up into the same area together, able to see each other on a fairly regular basis. Of course Facebook has made things easy for keeping up with many people, feeling like you never really have to say goodbye. It’s more of a “see you later.”

The week before I graduated from college I wrote individual letters to every professor I had recounting the classes they taught, and what I took away from their classes. I went around to all their offices and individually thanked them for their impact in my life.

By the end of my senior year in college I had made some close friends. And all of us were going in completely different parts of the world. One moved to central Florida, one to LA, one to France, one to Texas. But we were able to spend the last semester having fun with one another, meeting nearly every friday to hang out and play games.

School is always hard because if you make friends that are older than you, you will have to say goodbye to them sooner than those of your own year. If you make friends that are younger than you, you will have to say goodbye to them before they graduate. So making friends knowing that you will have to say goodbye before you want to can hinder the relationship. But if you know that you only have eight months together, you can either make the decision to take advantage of the precious time that you have, or to stay disengaged. I always try and choose taking advantage of the time I have. It could potentially set me up for be very sad when we have to say goodbye, but I probably would be even more disappointed knowing that I never really took the effort to be a close friend with people because I knew we’d have to say goodbye.

I just graduated from graduate school. I have invested a lot of time and energy into this school and student body. My situation is a bit muddled because I just graduated with my Master of Divinity, but am also continuing with an MA in Counseling. So I am saying goodbye in one sense, but hello in another. I was wondering how I was going to put good closure on this degree because I’ll still be around for another one. I wanted to end well, to close this period of my life cleanly. I didn’t really know how it was going to work. But then, within a few weeks of graduation I was asked to give a testimony of my time here at TEDS in chapel and then I was asked to give the student response of thanks at graduation. And before I knew it I was once again able to give a proclamation of my reflections and thanks to the professors, friends, and mentors that have influenced me so deeply while attending school here. I was able to say goodbye, and to say it well.

In a sense, meeting my Japanese friend was a hello, but it was also the beginning of learning how to say goodbye. In no small part because of this friend, my wife and I and another friend from middle school (who was also in our Home Economics class) will be traveling to Japan to serve as missionaries. I have been there three times, and even got engaged to my wife over there. I didn’t know it at the time, but meeting that friend of mine in seventh grade was really the beginning of saying goodbye to the life I know here in the United States. Hopefully when the time comes, I’ll get to say goodbye well to America and all my friends that I’ll be leaving behind.

Hanging with Friends

I’ve spent the last couple weekends hanging out with some friends from Japan. They’ve been to our place a number of times, but it’s nice to be able to visit them in their home and eat homemade Japanese food. Incredibly delicious. For some reason I always remember to take pictures when I am with them, so I have pictures to share. I frequently forget to take pictures of events that don’t seem out of the ordinary. I have been wanting to change that up a bit. I simply just want to be taking more pictures all of the time. I want to basically be taking pictures every day if possible. That probably won’t be as hard to do when I have a baby around.

Speaking of baby, Micah was due last Wednesday the 12th of September. No signs of baby arriving yet. Sarah is scheduled to be induced on Thursday at 4:00 am if she hasn’t had the baby already. She will go in to have some tests done on Tuesday to make sure everything is alright.

It seems that people are beginning to really see me as a photographer, so I will be doing some photo shoots in the near future for money finally. I recently shot a friend’s band at a live show for some money and I will be shooting some family photos, an engagement session and some potentially some projects for me school here in the near future. This makes me feel better about buying a lens recently. I will at least be able to put it to some great use, and be able to pay it off quickly.

My love of photography grows by the day, and I hope to gain more and more skills and become more knowledgable about how to take better and better photographs. Who knows? Maybe I’ll never need to get a real job ever again. (Even the editing of photos is kind of fun for me…it’s rarely ever work for me.)

I am kind of scared to see how many pictures I am going to take of our newborn, though.

A Day of Sadness

What stands out is just how small she looked in that bed.

Her chest rhythmically moved up and down. There was a kind of comforting peace about her composition. A calmness. And there was silence. No one really had much to say. What could be said?

On one side of the bed stood a few people, family and friends, just watching her. Watching the machines. Watching the lines. Watching. No one could really look away. How could you look away?

On the other side of the bed stood Ethan. He’d been there for the last four days. That’s all he could do. Be there. There was a ruffled bed in the corner of the room for him and his girlfriend. But he couldn’t sleep. How could he sleep?

Other friends and family lined the wall. We were all there. But that’s all we could do. All we could do was just be there.

Powerless. That much was clear. No one had the power to bring life back to this girl. All we could do is stand there and look at her beautiful face.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is a place of mixed emotions. Here at the Ronald McDonald Hospital in Chicago they really had the placed decked out. The floor had footprints of the various McDonald’s characters. Each wing had a name: Grimace wing, Hamburglar wing, and so on. Zoey was in the Birdie wing.

Her room was fish themed. Fish on the ceiling tiles, fish on the walls, paintings of fish hanging around the room. Ronald McDonald was even falling through the ceiling over the nursing station (which also had an artificial aquarium that was part of their desk). The whole place seemed happy. The whole place seemed to be like a children’s museum. But this was no museum. This was a hospital. People weren’t happy. They were sad, and rightfully so.

A friend, not necessarily a close friend, but a friend. We went to the same high school. We played football together during the summers. We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving together with our group of friends. In fact, I was just at his house a couple weeks ago.

Ethan recently had his first child with his girlfriend. I had recently met her just a couple weeks ago.  I hadn’t heard that Ethan had recently had a daughter. When I saw them they were both clearly happy. I was happy for them and their new family.

Ethan and a mutual friend recently started a company. Things were looking up for them. A new family. A promising successful company.

But things changed.

“Have you heard what happened?” Ethan asked as we all just looked at little baby Zoey.

“Umm…just a little bit. I don’t know the whole story.” I responded, not knowing how much I actually knew of the story.

“She had a urinary tract infection. And apparently when you’re this young you really don’t have much of an immune system. You’re body is very weak, and you don’t really show any symtoms when things are wrong. Apparently the infection got to her brain and caused meningitis and caused her brain to swell.”

“It just happened so fast. We laid her to bed…and well…it just all happened so fast. So fast. When we came back to check on her a few minutes later she was blue. She wasn’t breathing. I jumped into the car with her and we rushed to the nearest hospital as fast as I possibly could.”

At this point we had begun to walk outside of the room. Someone began asking if anyone had eaten anything recently, and they wanted to start making dinner plans. I don’t think anyone had eaten anything but vending machine food and fast food that various friends and family had brought with them when they came to visit.

Another one of my friends picked up where Ethan had left off.

“Apparently he was going like as fast as he could to get there. But when he did the doctors were apathetic and lethargic” My friend Norman said.

Ethan came back. “Yeah, so I was driving as fast as I could. Like 90 miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic just to get there.”

Later when he talked about this part of the story further, he explained that people gave him angry looks and a even a few middle fingers. He didn’t care. His child’s life was on the line.

“I’ve learned over the course of my life that when you see something like that, you really just don’t know what their day has been like.” His mother said.

“When I got there the doctors were really of no help. I should have known better than to go to that hospital. The only reason you go to that hospital is if you’re dead.” He continued. “They were really of no help. It was so frustrating. I now realize what the benefit are of living next to a good hospital. You think about living in a good school district. You don’t think about living near a good hospital.”

By the time they got the baby to Ronald McDonald Hospital things were looking pretty grim. Her brain had been without oxygen for too long, and she at best would have some severe brain damage.

Eventually all the family and friends had been gathered up and decided that we were all going to go to a local Mexican restaurant. I rode with my friend Norman, Ethan, and Ethan’s mother. On the way out to the parking garage Ethan asked about Sarah and my baby that is due soon.

“I heard that she recently had a baby shower back home.”

“Yeah, she did.” I responded.

“Did you get a baby monitor?”

“No…I mean we have a one bedroom apartment and–“

“I’ll get one for you guys. Believe me, you never know. It’s important.” He interjected.

We then talked in the car a bit about how he had researched whether or not there were baby monitors that kept track of breathing or temperature or even heart rate. But nothing like that really exists.

“You would think that would exist, right? I mean, how does that not exist. A monitor that sends a message to your phone or something anytime something isn’t right, or the baby doesn’t move for a number of seconds or minutes. How does that not exist?” He exclaimed, with an almost bitter tone in his voice. “I want to look into that. That needs to be made.”

We talked more about the car ride to the hospital. I he talked I wondered to myself what my instinct would be, would I think to drive the baby to the hospital as quickly as I could, or would I call 911? I don’t really know. I instinct would probably be to do what he did. I don’t know, though.

When we got to the restaurant there were a lot of us. Probably 20 or more. There were a lot of people from both sides of the family, half the table was family of Ethan’s girlfriend, and the other were friends and family of Ethan. By this time the mood had really lightened up a bit. Actually, as soon as anyone stepped foot out of the hospital room the mood really did seem to lighten up quite a bit.

There was laughter. There were normal conversations. If I didn’t know better it almost seemed like a happy family get together. Like a celebration. But the reality was far from that. For me I was vividly reminded of this fact as one of the only other families in the entire restaurant sat behind us with their crying newborn baby.

Really? Are you kidding me? A newborn baby crying right now? 

The food was good. The meal took a long time. But I think it actually might have been good for Ethan and his girlfriend. It wasn’t to make them feel like nothing was wrong, but to take a step back and take a few breaths. Lunch didn’t change reality, it just made reality a bit more manageable.

As we were starting to get ready to leave, a family sang Happy Birthday to a kid at another table. What different days for these two families. What very different days.

We eventually made it back to the hospital. There were more people here by this point, family members of Ethan’s girlfriend. Now a total of three kids were running around, vying for everyone’s attention. Although the mood wasn’t heavy, it wasn’t jovial either. No one was really that interested in paying them any attention. They tried their best, though.

My friend Norman and I just stood around and talked with each other for a while. Various family members went into the hospital room and stayed with little Zoey. Norman and I gave time for the family to spend time together as long as they wanted. We talked about various things about what it must be like for Ethan. We also talked about other aspects of life. We talked about the NFL season starting up soon. We talked about our families. We just talked for a while.

Eventually Ethan came back out and hung with us in the hallway. His face looked a bit heavy for a few minutes, but then he loosened up a bit. Some of his family came to say goodbye for the day and gave him hugs. Eventually his mother came out and we all stood around chatting for a bit. After a while the discussion changed over to talking about my son that will soon be born. Ethan was the one asking the questions, and so I felt no problem answering them. But I still wondered what it must be like for him. I mean just to know that your hopes and dreams for your daughter have all been shattered. What was he thinking about the kids running around the waiting room? What was he thinking as he talked to me about my son?

“All the organs are now healthy except her brain. We can communicate with an RC Rover many planets away but we can’t do anything about her brain! Really!? Surely this can be fixed!” He said not quite in defeat, but close. And of course in simple frustration of the situation.

Oh wow! He still has a glimmer of hope that this will somehow get better. I thought.

I don’t know what I would think. A situation like this would have to be simply unbelievable. Hope would be one of the only things keeping me going at that point most likely. I can’t blame him at all.

It’s true though. Norman and I had talked about it earlier. We can land a rocket ship with people in it on the moon in 1969 but we still can’t do practically anything about the brain once its been damaged.

“They’re just cells, right. I can scratch you. I can take away cells from you. But skin cells come back. But take away brain cells, and they can never be replaced. Strange.” Norman ranted.

Eventually we went back into the hospital room with Ethan. Just a few family members were there by this time. The mood was not as tense as it had been earlier, but there is no denying the sense of heaviness that just overcomes you as you see a cute little girl with tubes and wires hooked up to her.

The hardest part about it perhaps is that everything looks normal. All the monitors show normal numbers. Regular heart beat. Great blood pressure. Perfect oxygen saturation. Everything seems perfectly normal. But its not, and you know that even if you try to not believe it. You know that that cute little girl you’re starting will never open her eyes again.

Norman had been in the room earlier when the doctor told them that because the baby’s head is so soft and big, the brain technically will never quite be brain dead. She’ll just remain in this same condition, however. It’s just a matter of how long they’ll let her stay in this condition. Eventually she’ll have to come off the reliance of machines.

Norman told me that he definitely teared up during that time. I mean, how could you not I suppose. That is heavy. That would be so hard to hear and accept.

It was clear to me that they are not ready to think about that step yet. I know that it will come in time, and when that time comes it will be very hard. The reality of the tragedy of the situation will really set in then. There will be no smiles then. No laughter like there was around the lunch table. There will only be intense sadness for a life lost too soon.

As I reflect on this day I am glad I was able to just be there for a friend. I was not there to tell him that everything was going to be ok. Or that all he needed to do was just have more hope that everything could work out. Or that this was all just meant to be. That’s not why I was there, and it would have been wrong of me to say such things. Mostly because they’re just not true. But I was there just to be there. To show him that people do care. Life and tragedy isn’t meant to be done alone. We need each other. Even if we don’t know each other like brothers, a hug can go a long way in the midst of grief. Closing my mouth and just being ready to listen is how to really care for someone in the midst of a hard time. I hope I accomplished that today for Ethan.

It does touch home for a number of reasons. The last time I stepped foot in an ICU was for an accident that my father was in just about two and a half years ago. A lot of the emotions I felt then came surfacing as I walked into the PICU. The fact that my wife and I are soon to have a son made this all mean a little bit more for me. I realize the fragility of an infant’s life. Also, the fact that the baby’s name was Zoey is personal as well. If we were going to have a baby girl, we were going to name our daughter Zoe. Zoe (or Zoey) means “life” in Greek. And although her life will be very short on this earth, she did bring together family and friends to experience the realities of what life entails. There are hardships. There are tragedies. Life is more than just about ourselves. And it is when we live life together that it becomes meaningful. I only met her today, but Zoey brought a group of over 20 people together for an entire day to grieve, mourn, and even laugh at times with one another.

Although a true story I have out of respect of anonymity changed the names of nearly everyone in this story.

During a Tragedy

Life is fragile. I’ve recently been reminded of that.

When our friends are going through a time of grief, it is not about saying the right thing to encourage them. It is not about getting them to forget what is happening. It is not about trying to get them to move on. It is about being there. It is about being quiet. It is about simply letting them grieve and lament. It is okay to be sad about something that is sad. We don’t need to move on right away. People need to take time to grieve.

For those trying to be there for those whom we love that are going through a tragedy, just being there is what matters. Listening is what matters. We will never know what they are going through, and we shouldn’t feel burdened to try and feel their burden. We are just there for them.

We may never know the reasons for why things happen the way they do, but it is always a reminder that we must continue to have faith. We must always be in remembrance of just how fragile life is, and on our own we are practically helpless.

 

faith

Traveling at the Speed of Life

Life has been speeding by at what seems to be a million miles per hour. Life is happening so quickly. It’s all been incredibly great recently, too. It’s kind of amazing how great things have been recently, really. Sarah has a new job that she really seems to be enjoying. The other day she told me, “I love my job. How many people can say that? I just love my job.”

I am so happy for her. It really is great to see her so happy. That mixed with Micah squirming around inside of her keeps a constant smile on her face. It has been fun following the progression of the baby over the course of her pregnancy. IPad apps make following the progression pretty incredible and fun. Every Tuesday night Sarah says, “Oooh, we need to look at the baby!” And we discover what has happened over the past week and what Micah is up to inside the womb.

It’s been fun to imagine what Micah will be like. Will he look more like me or Sarah? Will he have my nose? Will he have Sarah’s eyes? How much hair will he be born with? What will his personality be like? We’re at 25 weeks as of today. He is getting bigger and bigger, and Sarah has said that he’s quite the acrobat in her stomach. She always giggles when he starts rolling around, doing who knows what in there.

This past weekend was Memorial day weekend and our friends Dennis and Mandi came up to celebrate their and Sarah and my 2nd year anniversary of marriage. We spent it in the 30th floor of the Hyatt Regency in the Southside of downtown Chicago. Among other things we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. It was a fun time. We looked around at a lot of the exhibits. Perhaps the coolest one for Sarah and me to see was the exhibit on pregnancy and fetal development. They had about 20 (perhaps more) babies that must have died in the womb on display in clear tubes. The babies floated in a clear liquid, almost looking like something from a science fiction movie. It was somewhat disturbing, but also extremely fascinating. They showed the progression of the baby’s development through putting these babies in chronological order by age. It was definitely amazing to look and see the baby that was basically at Micah’s stage of development.  Makes it that much more real. You can really begin to imagine what he must look like. Of course, I was once again amazed by the whole process of the creation, development, and birth of a human being. What a miracle.

It was a good weekend in Chicago. The weather was great. We walked about 20 miles in total throughout the city of Chicago over the course of the weekend. Sarah and I were struggling to keep up with our friends who are very enthusiastic about walking everywhere all the time. I can’t really think of the last time that I’ve walked that much. That’s definitely true for Sarah. We managed to survive, however.

The other week I went back home to Indy to see the Pacers-Heat playoff game. It was pretty exciting. The Pacers won that night, although they ended up losing the series. It made for a very fun night. Every time Lebron touched the ball the stadium booed with vigor. It’s amazing how we can all hate someone so incredibly talented. He is easy to dislike though. Wade even more so.

But as I was down there I visited some friends from high school, as I normally do when I visit Indianapolis. Usually we end up hanging out into the early hours of the morning. Sometimes I’ve headed home as the sun was beginning to rise. But we’re really not the same age anymore. A friend and I couldn’t even finish a set of tennis before he was too tired to finish. It was only a few years ago that we consistently played football in 95-100 degree weather, loving every minute of it. Instead of hanging out for hours on end, we ended up calling it at night before midnight and went our separate ways to head to bed. Another friend couldn’t even stay up until 9:30 before wanting to call it a night. What ever happened to late night movies or long discussions about life or playing video games until your eyes burned?

Some people think that having a kid this early is crazy. I’m too young. I haven’t been married long enough to enjoy it. I think most of those days are already over. Everyone goes to bed before 10 and doesn’t even have the energy to have a late night walk as used to be the norm for the past 10 years or so. Life is changing. So I guess I think it’s a perfect time to have a child. Everyone else has gotten old, yet seemingly hasn’t realized it. I might as well take advantage of the time and start putting my energy into raising a child.

Things change so quickly. It’s quite incredible.