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The Newness of Smooth Tummies: The Chronicles of Sadie (day 6)

July 23rd, 2008

Focus Text: II Corinthians 5: 17 (NLT)

 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Day six of “Operation Sadie” found me in an interesting position: leaving the house and reentering a pre-existent “normal” part of my life.  Upon awakening, I got ready for church and left the house with my still-very-sore wife and my new princess somewhat asleep.  It was about 6:45 a.m. and I had to swing by Kroger to get the supplies to stock our cafe for the day.  Then, I entered my familiar domain: the church.

I work at the church everyday.  Furthermore, it is often the place I go to meet people who are coming into town.  If I happen to get to go golfing, I almost alway meet my golf partner at church.  For that matter, I built the church.  For almost two years, those twenty-seven acres and that three-story building were the setting for almost every waking moment of my life.

Construction.  Youth group in the tent.  Parties.  Service.  Music practices.  Basketball.  You name it, I do it at church.

But walking into the sanctuary at 7:15 a.m. to meet the worship team this morning, I had a realization: church was no longer the same.  First of all, I was more tired than usual.  My voice was weaker.  My fingers didn’t want to move as quickly across the keys of the piano– it’s like I was playing with wooden paddles!

Each person that I encountered . . . the same people I encounter every week . . . had one brand new singular purpose in their dialogue: Sadie.  How’s Sadie?  How’s Laura?  When can I see pictures?  When is she coming to church?  She is the prettiest baby I’ve ever seen!  Are you tired?  Do you feel different, Daddy?

This focus on the new little one with my last name didn’t annoy me; it filled my heart with joy and pride in my new family member.  Of course we’re going to talk about Sadie– she’s the most miraculous thing that’s ever happened to me!  Talk away.

Sadie is new in every way.  She’s like a clean slate; an early canvas with a kaleidoscope of colors and shades still begging to be painted.  Her very existence is teeming with hope because her future is truly fathomless. She can be anything . . . do anything.  She is the personification of life . . . new life. 

My first Sunday as a daddy taught me that Sadie’s entrance into our world has brought new life to our life. Our old life wasn’t bad before, but our new life is way better.  By better, I don’t mean easier . . . I mean richer!  Sure I’m tired, but have you seen her?

After coming home from church to greet my little princess, I became aware of another huge event that had occurred in her short life: her umbilical cord had fallen off.  To be honest, up to this point the only challenge to my diaper changing skills besides the perpetual wild kicking of the little one is that pesky little clip attached to the last remaining few centimeters of her umbilical cord.  And although Laura has assured me over and over again that she can’t feel it, I always worry that I’m going to hurt her little tummy.

To the outsider looking in, it’s really kind of a gross process.  The little cord simply shrivels up over the course of several days and then just falls off.  It turns black and . . . well, unappealing.  But today, it’s gone forever.  The benefits?  Well, besides not having a decrepit, rotting clump of tissue hanging out of her belly button, we now get to give her a real bath.  Before, she could only have sponge baths until the cord fell off, but now she can dive right into the tub . . . or the sink . . . or a large kitchen pot . . . well, you know what I mean.

In many ways, II Corinthians 5:17 is a beautiful “chronicle” of our Father who is rejoicing in the newness of our life in Him and the decay of our old lifestyle.  There’s a reason, you know, that the Bible refers to the beginning of our relationship with Jesus as a “new birth.”  But as you know, being born isn’t the same thing as being mature.  No, sometimes remnants of our old life stay clipped to us, following us around and making an eye-sore out of perfect little tummies . . . spiritually, of course.

It’s not that we’re not His or that we’re not born, it’s that we’re still growing.  So even though we’re new in Christ, we still must keep working to ensure that our old existence continues to shrivel up.  Eventually, the stubborn pieces of who we used to be will fall right off and then, we will have the ability to joyfully jump into a new, warm bath and submerge ourselves deeper and deeper in the wonder of all the new things our Father has prepared for us.  New cleansing occurs and old things are truly gone forever.

Out of all the keepsakes we’ve kept so far of Sadie’s first glorious few days in the outside world, that umbilical cord wasn’t one of them.  All things are new for my baby . . . are they for you?




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