I already know that God has a sense of humor (observe the platypus, the pangolin, the alligator gar, capybaras! the naked mole rat) but I am struck today by the fact that he must have a keen sense of the ironic as well.
*happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this.*
Enter my newest grandchild into the world: Lillian Grace. Today. Christmas Day.
My daughter-in-law became pregnant after being told roundly and firmly that pregnancy was furthermore and forevermore not possible . . . . okay, this happened three times. The first couple of times, I believe she was told that it was highly unlikely, we’re sorry, after which she went ahead and blessed us a few months later with our first grandchild, Anya Genese.
Not many years afterwards, she gave birth to the irrepressible young princess Eleanor Leigh, who lights up the world from the top of her dandelion fluff hair to the tips of her elaborately painted nails (black! Black is her favorite!).
This third time, it was a definite “won’t ever happen again, not possible” . . . and after months of a scary stem-cell transplant and chemotherapy and subsequent time spent in the hospital, it was easy to believe the brilliant and learned doctors. They had to know. Among us, heads were shook and tongues tsk-tsked because what couple deserved more young children to love more than this one? But it was not to be.
Lillian Grace, however, was not to be denied, the miracle child born, no less, on Christmas Day itself. Every new baby is remarkable and special in her own way, and could there be any more reason to believe that she is a special one, a truly brilliant shining star in the universe of children, in that she was given–a wonderful and unexpected gift!–in the midst of great hardship and suffering, even after she was deemed absolutely not possible.
This little one will, unwittingly, make our lives better, in the excellent ways that her lovely sisters do, and will never guess at how many gasps of surprise and pleasure she has brought us already, though she is hours old.
On the special day that we’ve set aside to celebrate the birth of the son of God himself, now the birth of a babe in the family points our hearts to him. The birth of this tiny baby, like many others, trumped the wisdom and knowledge of learned men. She has turned those brilliant medical minds, as it were, on their ears.
In the way that church steeples point our eyes and minds to heaven; in the way that a tiny babe born a couple thousand years ago in Bethlehem captured the hearts of men; this much-wanted, never-expected miracle baby turns our hearts to God, who is the business of healing, blessing, surprising, and providing.
Thank you, merciful father, for darling, perfect Lillian Grace. For the humor, the irony, the surprises, the little miracles, and the wry amusement brought about by the unexpected.