A Love Beyond Pain and Reason

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)

The sky was dark, with a beautiful full moon and a few scattered stars, but it is never a good sign when you have to fly at night in our EMS Airevac helicopter. Landing, we were led by a member of the rural fire department to a pile-up of five cars and a semi-trailer. Some bodies who had been fatally ejected from their vehicles lay covered over on the cold desert floor. But there she lay - our patient. Strapped to a hard C-spine board, she was motionless and the details of her face were covered in blood. Despite the blood, possible facial fractures and bruising, she was beautiful. She had that far-away look to her blue eyes as she attempted to grab my hand with her fractured arm. It was not hard to miss her 8-month pregnant belly that convulsed in premature contractions.

With each contraction she screamed; not for herself, but for her unborn baby. "My baby! My baby! You got to help my baby!"

I placed my Doppler on the protruding abdomen and heard a comforting sound: a little heart beating very consistently, fast, strong and loud. "Is my baby ok? Is my baby alive? Please keep my baby alive, please," she pleaded.

She would not let me take the Doppler off her belly, for she wanted to keep hearing the sound of her baby's heartbeat. Grabbing various instruments, we started IV's in this girl's limbs giving her much needed fluids. We applied an oxygen mask to her face and immobilized her fractured limbs. Essentially, we got her packaged and ready to fly to the nearest trauma center that had the necessary Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I wiped the dripping blood off her face and from around her eyes continuously as she fixed her eyes on my face.

With each contraction all she could say was: "Save my baby, save my baby!"

I kept reassuring her over and over but it did little to calm her. I even offered her medications for her own pain, which was extremely violent, severe and intense. Each time I offered, she flatly refused. She held my hand the entire flight as I kept the Doppler over her precious baby. The heartbeat became the comforting noise as it echoed above the helicopter's roar. She wanted to be completely aware of her little one's every movement and would not allow any drugs to dull her ability to sense them.

Here she lay with a possible cracked skull, blood dripping down her bruised face and running into her eyes and mouth, possible fractured arms and legs - and her only concern being the sound of her child's heartbeat. This was a love beyond pain and reason. What selflessness this woman naturally and instinctively displayed in her effort to give life!

Mid-flight, she screamed, "I feel my baby! I feel my baby!"

Tears filled my eyes as I witnessed this display of love and concern. Then it hit me. This display of love by a mother for her unborn child was just an itty-bitty, teeny-tiny fraction of the love that the Lord has for me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I pictured Jesus mangled, beat-up beyond recognition, tossed around and nailed to a Roman cross in order to give me, His “baby”, life. Oh! How he wanted to give us all a new birth and a new life!

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving us so. Please watch over us, check our heart beat continually to see if we are really alive in the Spirit, and help us to love You with a love that defies pain and reason. Amen.