Snot Sucker Spirituality

“Hold the baby upright. Squirt one spray into each nostril.  Next, lay the baby down for a minute with head lower than body.  This allows the saltwater to loosen the thick secretions and stimulates baby to sneeze them to the front of the nose, where you are waiting to grab the thck stuff with your trusty nasal aspirator (veteran nose cleaners call this gadget their snot snatcher).  Expect your baby to protest this intrusion into his nose.”  (The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two by Dr. and Mrs. Sears, p665)

I love the last line, “Expect your baby to protest this intrusion into his nose.” It sounds like maybe Gabriella is supposed to hold up her hand to in silent objection or sit down after its over to write a furious letter to the editor.  
How does this really play out?

She lays on my lap with her head at my knees.  I hold onto her hands, at first so she doesn’t push off my stomach onto the floor, but as Billy approaches her nose, it’s to restrain her hands from assaulting him.  

He grabs her head to try and steady it.  She arches her back and kicks her feet furiously, all the while screaming in violent anger.  She aims her kicks at my C-section scar to express that the experiences are similar.

She twists and turns and eventually, determinedly, my husband suctions the bothersome mucus from her nose.  Of course, now she’s crying so hard she’s creating significantly more snot, so we keep sucking.  

“We’re trying to help you!” I feebly assure her over the shrieks of protest to her torture. 

And in all the chaos, I hear that still small voice.  “See any similarities?  I have a plan for your life, and I have your best interest at heart.  Still, you accuse me of being mean, shoving a sucker up your nose for no reason at all except to laugh at your pain.”

I pick up my daughter, nose finally clear, while she continues to whimper, scream, and wave her arms maniacally, hitting me over and over again.

“See?” the voice continues.  “You and I always end up stalled because you stay so angry at the snot sucking you don’t see the bigger picture.  Sometimes I have to do things you don’t like because it’s the best thing for you.  Trust me.”

One of my least favorite things of becoming a parent is the never-ending sermon illustrations that pour out of the child and convict me of my baby-like tendencies in faith.  As if to add injury to insult, the next time my daughter starts struggling to breathe, my husband, as though reading my silent thoughts, looks at her and says, “I can help you with that.  Will you let me?”

What about you... what sermon illustrations has your life illustrated lately?  Which ones keep presenting themselves over and over?

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