I first became aware of Scott Phelps at Palmer Jr High School. While I can’t tell you what classes we had together, I’m sure that we did. I know that our paths crossed. But eventually, we ran in different circles and were acquaintenances, at best.
What I didn’t realize is that Scott Phelps did run around with my Scott in high school. And he’s the kind of guy, that remains friends for life.
I don’t personally know Phelps’ story first hand, but I’ve heard parts of it from Scott. Like all of us, Phelps’ story is one of twists and turns. Souring high and sometimes, walking in the desert. Literally. Walking in the deserts of Iraq as one of our country’s veterans. That was the Phelps of then.
When Scott and I were dating, we visited the Phelps of now. And his wonderfully sweet wife, Jessica. When you fast-forward 30 years from junior high, you find a man with four sons and a new start. A new marriage. A new career.
Six weeks ago, Scott and Jessica Phelps gave birth to an absolutely beautiful girl, Rain. Can you imagine being the lucky girl who was born into a house with all those sons? As you can imagine, she is pink and frilly and as gentle and delicate as there ever were.
Scott and I were honored to be invited to Rain’s baby blessing on Sunday. Sitting toward the back of the church I smiled as I watched the all-too-familiar look of panic on the faces of Scott and Jessica as they rocked and coo’ed Rain – hoping she would hold out until the service was over. Wondering if she would wail in the middle of the prayer. I remember that feeling so distinctly from Baird and Hannah’s baby dedication.
As they were called up to the front of the sanctuary, I snuck up front to take a few pictures…
a proud mama –
I was just going to take pictures.
And then, I was overcome with the display of grace standing before me. God’s faithfulness… God’s persistent pursuit of His children… God’s protection.
The story of Mercy was standing a few feet away from me: Scott and his incredible boys. The gift of Jessica that God blessed Scott with a few years back. Parents who prayed for this day without knowing what names would be inserted into the blanks, but praying nonetheless.
It is difficult to take pictures while your heart is bursting with gratitude and with eyes filled with hot tears of pride for a friend. And the humbling assurance that the grace that Scott has experienced is the same grace that covers my own life experiences.
Thank you, Rain, for the being the avenue to remind me in a visual way that God’s love has no boundaries.
And then, both of them peeking out from their moment of prayer, the pride and love of two parents exploded on both Scott and Jessica’s faces…
God’s gift of children.
God’s gift of forgiveness.
God’s gift of family and friends.
I’m excited to see the paths that Rain will walk.
I have no doubt that she will always have two parents – and 4 big brothers! – who will love and protect and spoil her abundantly.
And may you always, love the color pink…