"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love
that does not show itself in protection from suffering.
The love of God is of a different nature all together.
It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality.
It stands in the very teeth of suffering."
I am a quick fix person. I have puttied holes in the wall with toothpaste, colored in wood scratches with brown marker, and even hemmed and entire skirt with tape. Tape that fell off in long strips throughout the day as I taught art. And yes, I throw out entire puzzles if one piece goes missing. Things should be whole, or at least fixed. An attempt made to be aesthetically pleasing. I get frustrated that things have been made so breakable, so easy to lose in the first place.
So, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised when it feels unbearable to see my friends or family suffer. Why it is I am tempted to slap band aids and OKs on confessed pain. Why my own past sufferings have produced a frenzied busy instead of seasons of receiving. I am in a place of seeing friends suffer. I am often left not knowing what to say or what to do. Their combined pain making my humbling week seem small in scope.
It is hard to not be able to fix. To not have the ability to help a friend make sense of why God seems silent and the heart feels tricked. Why would a good father not protect, not provide? Why would a friend abandon and hope of a child not get realized? Sickness and slow healing. I know my eyes are weak. I can't see what He sees. I only see in part and I am afraid of what everyone's whole will be if it keeps going this way. But He does know of the redemption to come and that the tragedy and the heart break that will
lead to our faith affirmed.
Luke is done with The Hobbit. I asked him how it compared to the Chronicles of Narnia. He said, "No offense to C.S. Lewis, Tolkien writes a better story. The risk and danger in it all. He (Bilbo) almost dies. Two of my favorite characters do die!" Then why should I finish it, I ask, that sounds horrible. "Mom, that is how it is suppose to be. Biblo becomes who he is suppose to be in the end." He becomes more of who he is created to be, because of it all? I prod him to tell me more. Luke tires of talking about it, "just read the rest of it, then you won't have to ask me questions."
I think about my friends. Their risk and danger. More real and scary than my story right now. I want them to be more of who they are suppose to be, their true self made in His image. I want to be that too. That story includes the tragedy and the reality that we are not there yet. And the here can feel down right painful. But He has not brought them this far to abandon them. He has not turned from their cries silent. He is a Father who loves far more than we can imagine. Who doesn't see in part, but sees the whole beautiful story. He pulls off the band aids and takes the OKs off our lips. And lets us walk through the suffering with the knowledge that we are not alone. We are protected and provided for, and WE ARE LOVED in this moment, in this very part of our life.
I pray that we are able to rest in His love this week. That
we will be able to trust a good God who has not abandoned us.
That we rest in a love that protects and provides and is not silent even in the suffering.
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."