I called this post “Child #3”, because that would have been his birth order. I call this baby “him” because my wife is convinced he is a boy.
My wife was expecting, and I went with a friend from church to a concert at a church about 90 minutes away from our home. This, in itself, was unusual, because I didn’t go do stuff with guy friends (I didn’t really have any for most of my life). This was in the early days of cell phones, when they were so big that you didn’t carry them with you, or at least not easily. It literally would not have fit in my pocket, so it stayed in the car during the concert.
All that to say, I didn’t know anything was wrong until after the concert, late at night, and 90 minutes from home.My wife had left a message. Something was wrong with the pregnancy.
Fortunately, her sister lived in town (this was when we lived in Florida) and was able to be with her. I felt horrible. The one night she needed me there more than most, and I was gone.
It was fairly early in the pregnancy. We went to the hospital when I got home, she had the necessary procedure to verify and take care of the miscarriage and we went home. Of course, at this time, I was involved in sexual sin that she knew nothing about. So, the guilt was running pretty high on multiple levels.
What God did out of this was not apparent for many years. I have been what my wife calls “emotionally constipated” for most of my life that I can remember. There is no term I have ever heard for this that describes it better. I tended to have absolutely no clue what I was feeling at any given moment; it’s as if I had no emotions. This has improved in the last few years (greatly), but not as much as I would like (at least not yet…all on God’s timetable). I asked God (I have asked several times, actually) to release my emotions.
Well, the first emotion that came out was anger. That’s not unusual for someone with an addiction, I’ve learned. The next one was sadness (specifically, tears). I could count on one hand the number of times that one has come out in “real life”. By that, I mean, I have cried in movies or when reading about something sad. I can’t get through the movie “Courageous” without crying, for instance. But, in real life, the tears don’t usually come. And I hate that. It makes me look like either a guy who buys into the whole macho thing who withholds emotions purposely, or else a huge jerk. Anyone who knows me knows that macho is not something I could ever be accused of being, so I guess I look like a jerk.
Well, the tears came one day, when I brought up our baby in conversation. This was after my wife found out about all my sexual sin and I finally let God control and work on that part of my life. I brought up the baby one day and we talked about him for quite a while. All of a sudden, I was crying. I couldn’t believe it. I suddenly missed this child I never met, something like 15 years earlier. And it felt good to cry. It was something she needed to see me do. It was something I needed to do for me. And for our baby.
I forget which of us came up with his name that day, but we named him (we never had before). Naming our other kids was no small feat; we had a very difficult time naming every one of them (we have four others). It’s much more complicated than I ever thought it would be. That’s why there are baby naming books. Anyway, we came up with Zacchaeus (from Luke, chapter 19) and nicknamed him Zac. If you remember the story, he was the short man who climbed a tree, so he could see Jesus passing by. My wife said the name fit, because he was (in her words), “the little man who wanted to see Jesus” (so he went to be with Him). When I heard that, I lost it again. In fact, the tears are coming again, as I type this. Damned emotions. I asked for them, though, didn’t I?
We also decided he has blue eyes. I love blue eyes. I have blue eyes. It’s actually one of the few features of mine that I didn’t dislike all my life. And I’m the only one in my immediate family who has them. My wife has brown eyes, which in the genetic world, tend to be dominant over blue. So, all our kids have either brown or hazel eyes. I’ve read that it’s possible for a couple where one has brown and has blue to have a blue-eyed baby, but it’s not the norm. There’s no scientific basis, of course, for our assumption that he has blue eyes. But there’s a chance he does, and that’s enough for me.
The name and the eye color make him more real to us.
So, bringing out my emotions (at least one of them) was what God did through the loss of Zac. I’d rather have Zac (I’d probably be teaching him to drive about now), but God knows what He’s doing. Zac is the fortunate one; he’s already with Him. We’ll meet him one day.
I can’t wait.