Jesher is now wearing clothes, but I don’t want him to get completely comfortable in them. If his care-providers heard me say this out-loud, they would deem this statement NICU blasphemy! Wearing clothes is a significant milestone for preemies. It represents improvement, optimism, and expectation. Once in clothes, a NICU baby begins to manage their own temperature, which means they are one gargantuan step closer to discharge. I am tremendously grateful that our son is improving; I love the fact that he is becoming infamous for peeing through his diaper–which means he must receive (on average) one new outfit per day. My lil’ man is wearing and soiling clothes! I am thankful and excited; however, this achievement has put me in a pensive mood. As I daily watch nurses celebrate the playful patterns on his neonatal raiment, I’m often distracted by this uncommon question: “I wonder if they are familiar with the overlooked history of clothes?“
According to the Biblical record, none of us should be entirely content in clothes. The book of Genesis gives us a glimpses into the utopian environment humanity once called home. Everything was good. Everything was complete. Everything was beautiful. Everything was pure. And nothing needed clothes. Insects were outfitted with exoskeletons. Fish were arrayed with scales. Birds were dressed in feathers. Mammals were covered in fur. Humans? Well, we were originally supplied with an external organ called skin (the largest organ within human anatomy). That was it…nothing else was supplied. So the question emerges: Why did clothes become a part of the human experience? And when did they become mandatory accessories?
Clothes are a reminder of the perfection we lost millenniums ago. Attire doesn’t enter our planet’s storyline until words like shame, fear, and nakedness have already taken center stage. Genesis 3:7 says, “Then the eyes of both [Adam and Eve] were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” Did you catch it? Did you see the overlooked detail? Did you notice that God didn’t make clothes? Humans made clothes, and we didn’t make clothes because things were perfect. We made clothes because things went terribly wrong.
Since the donning of humanity’s first outfit, all of us have struggled to cope with the harsh realities of an imperfect world. Themes such as death, sorrow, and tragedy are status quo. Life isn’t perfect, and no one expects it to be. All of us have been thoroughly acculturated to heartache and heartbreak. Negative events or occurrences are constant–like gravity. Trials and tribulations are consistent–like adversity. And the proof of this painful cycle resides in every fiber of cotton, polyester, silk, and rayon weaved into every skirt, sock, dress, and shirt. Along time ago, something went askew. Something went catastrophically awry. My son has already been affected by this history. He is currently wrapped and swaddled in it. He is one of the newest residents on a fallen world, and the proof is in his clothes.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
RELOCATION–Today, Jesher was transitioned to a new pod area. This is a common practice for NICU babies as they grow older and more stable. I am happy to hear the staff refer to Jesher as a stable baby. That being said, I am a strong believer in spiritual warfare. Jesher’s previous pod, #34, was anointed and claimed as Yahweh’s territory. We want to claim Jesher’s new pod, #23, as Yahweh’s territory as well. We want the angelic forces who have kept vigil over our son to have an open invitation to guard him with even greater frequency and ferocity. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO ANSWER OUR INVITATION TO RESIDE IN POD #23 AS HE DID IN POD #34…ASK OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN TO SEND BANDS OF ANGELS TO CLAIM OUR ENTIRE WING AS YAHWEH’S TERRITORY.
PLATELETS–We received confirmation today that Jesher’s platelet levels have reached a normal level! This is a huge praise report! As chronicled in previous posts, Jesher required multiple platelet transfusions over the past two months. Receiving this report was an uplifting moment in our prayer journey. It is clear; God is healing Jesher’s blood. PLEASE JOIN US IN GIVING THANKS FOR JESHER’S IMPROVED BLOOD NUMBERS; ASK THE LORD TO CONTINUE KNITTING OUR SON TOGETHER CELL BY CELL.
SPELLS–Jesher has experienced a slight increase in spells. Periodically, Jesher will forget to breath. These moments have been nicknamed “spells.” These spells will oftentimes require a nurse to rub or tap him to restart his breathing. Over the past two weeks, Jesher has suffered from a rise in ‘spelling,’ occurring primarily when he sleeps. PLEASE CLAIM PSALMS 4:8 OVER OUR SON–ASK GOD TO GIVE HIM PEACE AND SAFETY AS HE SLEEPS; WE NEED THE LORD TO DELIVER HIM FROM “SPELLS.”
I can’t protect Jesher from negative experiences (his current NICU battle is evidence). But, oh, how I wish I could. With all of my heart, I want to swear that he will never be hospitalized again. I want to guarantee him a life void of failure. I want to gift him an existence free from sorrow. And yet, each time a nurse slides his arms into a brightly decorated onesie, I have to accept the great truth of our time: “In this world, [we] will have trouble” (John 16:33). I can’t change this fact; I can only coach Jesher through it. I can teach him the lessons I’ve learned, and wish him well whenever he steps out into the dangerous world. I can dress him in adequate apparel, hoping to prepare him for the unstable climate of Earth. This is the only lasting inheritance I have to impart. And Lord willing, I will have the honor of raising a man who is well acquainted with the story of when humans first wore clothes.
“My child, if you receive my words, and store up my commands within you, by making your ear attentive to wisdom, and by turning your heart to understanding,indeed, if you call out for discernment – raise your voice for understanding –if you seek it like silver, and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand how to fear the LORD, and you will discover knowledge about God.For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He stores up effective counsel for the upright, and is like a shield for those who live with integrity.” Proverbs 2:1-7