I have had a good day under the circumstances. It is abundantly clear that when there is anxiety or waiting or things just being out of the ordinary, I will either eat a lot or clean a lot. Thankfully today was the cleaning a lot option. The last time I cleaned this much I was nesting and was rewarded with a baby a few days later. 🙂 I think I’m not going to get anything this time besides clean windows and a raked yard.
But, actually, I’d like to take a minute and talk about a different kind of work going on…
Jack’s mother is still in the hospital, and family is surrounding her. She has been in for about a week now. I know there is a process her body, mind, and spirit is going through right now…and everyone sitting by her side is going through a process of their own as well. They are working through things they may have never taken time to work through. Now is the time to do this: the hard work of acceptance, surrender, gratefulness, forgiveness. We aren’t used to things happening outside of our control. Usually if we care enough to do something, we can get it back under our reign somehow. But there are certain things in life that just totally strip us bare and we realize we have just a few things that matter, and even those things are not ours. Our life that we feel pretty sure we are entitled to isn’t even ours, so these processes we have to go through in grief are sometimes things we have to work out with loved ones but more often they are things we have to work out with God Himself.
We have such frustration, disappointment, and anger when we don’t get what we think we have coming to us and I think the root behind it is that we can’t stand to see potential unmet. There is something in us that just cries out, “That’s not fair! That life could have been…that life should have been…” We have an expectation of what a good life should look like. There’s nothing wrong with feeling this way. Perhaps we feel this way because we were created in the image of God and He also cherishes potential. But we get misguided into thinking the good life must happen to us here. We say that we know this isn’t all there is, but…
I was reading to Selah from 1 Corinthians 15 this week, and I have read it again and again to myself. It says a seed must go into the ground and die before it can get its new form…a little brown apple seed, through giving up it’s little brown apple seed form, becomes a large and strong apple tree with big, tall branches and bright, red fruit. I love seeing good thriving fruit trees! And each seed God ever made has it’s own personal, unique potential of what it’s “new body” is going to look like. The same is true with us. What will our form look like once our “seed”, our shell, is laid down once and for all? I think it will look like the potential we never reached, the potential we could never obtain in this sinful, broken world.
What if we made that our new expectation: That we will be seeds ready to take on our new form when the season is right, that we will expect and allow those we love to also get to be clothed in something new. Something imperishable. Something with no barriers or boundaries. Something right smack in the middle of the visible presence of the Lord forever and ever and ever, if they are in Christ.
Knowing this…believing this…rejoicing in this…it doesn’t make us stop missing someone. God made us human. We’re gonna hurt. But the joy and the sorrow are equally deep. They are equally deep. And we can handle it. We have the potential to hold both at the same time.