The Fight: A Day-Late Easter Reflection
Easter seemed distant this year. A season usually ripe for reflection and remembering was one fraught with survival. While others wrote beautiful words of Christ’s sacrifice and our deliverance, I could barely remember whether I’d sent my son a school lunch. I felt I had missed out on the holiness of the season. I had failed to feel the weight of all that Easter represented.
But then came Saturday night.
My mom and sisters were in town for the weekend, so we declared a girls’ night out. I showered. I curled my hair. I even painted my toenails, y’all. I felt like a grown-up woman, and it was glorious.
However, halfway through the night, I got the call. Even before I could answer “hello?”, I heard my screaming baby on the other end. Jamison was not having it. I could hear the desperation in my husband’s voice as he said, “I’m sorry, babe, but I’ve been trying to feed him for over an hour. He just won’t take the bottle.”
I immediately jumped in the car and headed home. When I got there, I ran up the steps two at a time toward the nursery. There, I found both husband and son looking quite defeated, sweaty from struggle. Mouth open and arms limp at his side, Jamison lay asleep in Ben’s arms—worn out from the fight, from his refusal to take a bottle. Ben looked equally exhausted. His shoulders slumped, and I could see an aching in his eyes, the ache of a father who longed to give his son the sustenance he needed.
I scooped Jamison up, nursed him in his sleep state, and tucked the baby boy into bed.
Around 3 a.m., the little one began to stir, bringing me to his nursery once again. As I fed him in the quiet darkness, my mind began to replay the scene from earlier that night: A father trying desperately to give his son nourishment, his encouragement met only with refusal. The father’s calm and consoling words drowned out by wailing. An infant unbending in his desire to get what he wanted on his terms—even though everything he needed was right in front of him.
The scene felt all too familiar. It was in that moment that the veil between the physical and the spiritual seemed to lift just enough for me to realize I had not come all that far from that infantile fight.
Daily, the Father coaxes us, “Here, child.Take just one sip. ‘Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!’ Just one sip, child.” *
Yet how often we, like babies, clench our fists and arch our backs. We fight and strain and struggle against His embrace. With flailing arms, we turn away His fine wine for gas station grape soda. We have full-bodied goodness, aged to perfection, at our fingertips, but instead we reach for sugar-laced imitations of what our souls crave and are left wanting.
But the Father doesn’t give up. His patience always outweighs our resistance. While we may pass out in His arms, worn from struggle, God continues to hold us close. He waits for us to wake up, to take His cup and drink. For His way, His Living Water, is always better, always enough.
In the wee hours of that holy Sunday morning, while the world around me slept and I held my baby boy close, I drank from the Father’s Living Water and was satisfied yet again. Easter, I realized, was not that far away after all.
*John 7:37-38 (NLT)