By: Matt Gordon
Everything about having a second kid was easier—the pregnancy, the labor, the delivery, the knowledge of how things would go along the way. When it got hard was when we actually had a second kid. Once delivered, our Joseph Sawyer Gordon, the first of his name, decided sleep wasn’t for him. And for anyone else either. We soothed, we cried, we prayed. But for all the things we did, the thing we didn’t do, for about four months, is sleep.
Joseph today reached the seven month mark. He sleeps well now, and has begun laughing—a halting, choking, gasping cackle that bounces about the room, filling with joy anyone with whom it collides.
He is beautiful. He is ours. And we love him.
But would it be so without passion? For it was passion that got us through some not-so-beautiful moments. Bone-tired we’d plead with him, with God, to bring peace. But even when that peace eluded us, we rocked and rocked and rocked through the suffering.
Passion is a bewildering wonder.
It is the thing that brings us to be part of something bigger than ourselves—an invisible united force.
This is why we go to concerts when the studio album is better and had more cheaply. We go to be with others who share a love. We gather around that love together to marvel, to gape, to sing, to praise. As we draw closer to the object at the center of us all, we grow closer to one another.
But despite the united compulsion of our passions, they tend to pass first through the wilderness of isolation. We spend hours acclimating our tastes to the music, forging our preferences and developing a feel for the artist who is winning our affection. In the world of sports, we aim to hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth of the World Series—with millions bartering with the gods for our success. The crowd, the cheers, the hopes. Then the crack of the bat, the roar of the horde. That moment is a culmination of lonely passion, of solitary hitting off a tee in some god forsaken cage. It is blisters, early mornings, soreness, training, bus rides, a lonely pursuit, both inward and outward.
This week is sometimes called The Passion Week.
It focuses on Jesus, not strutting onto a throne, but staggering, limping, groping along. He had been in the wilderness prior, but these woods were worse. As he nears, closer and closer to his moment, he is more and more alone. His friends abandon him; his people demand his death. He is forsaken, becoming sin—perhaps the single greatest moment of human history: the innocent man hanging on the tree, dying for the very ones who nailed him there.
Jesus claimed to be a Messiah. You may believe that or not. He claimed to die for sins—again, debate persists. But one cannot honestly look at this man’s final week and dismiss his passion. And then beyond that week, the way the world was changed. Millions upon millions followed the passion of this man; they circled up around the white-hot heat of his zeal, inching closer and closer, across the ages, to him and to each other.
I hold my son and wonder from where my love for him comes. Will it last? Is it true? He laughs, but it is not his laughs that convince me. Sure, they move me, bouncing my heart along jollily. No, it was the four months of tears, of sleepless nights. I think back on those and I know. I love him. I love him with truth. I love him with pain. I love him with every ounce I have. I love him to death.
On this week a few thousand years ago, Jesus is reputed to have experienced much worse than sleepless nights in order to love me to death.
This week I’ll hold that thought and wonder from where his love for me comes. Will it last? Is it true?
I hold my son and wonder at the passion of it all.