A Sign and A Wonder
I’m peering into the bathroom mirror, watching the reflection of Kiara nimbly plaiting my hair in her special fancy way, and remembering the day I looked into this same mirror and wondered if I was seeing the face of a mother who was losing her child. Our world has turned upside down in joy since then, and crowds have peered into our lives, hoping to catch a glimpse of this living and breathing miracle.
Are they seeking miracles and healings, a hope of comfort for today? Or do they see a sign and a wonder, an evidence of the truth of who Jesus is?
Our personal belief is in a future glory, with a full acceptance of present day suffering. We did not require this miracle as our right in this age of the ‘not-yet’ of heaven. And yet, we cannot deny it.
“When the word got out that Jesus was not far from Jerusalem, a large crowd came to see him, and they also wanted to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.” John 12:9
Because how can we help being enamoured with the way resurrection life leaks from Jesus, even in this Scripture as he is headed to his own death? As he walks through our lives he leaves clues in his footprints - signs and wonders full of life and glory.
The crowds will crane their necks and rush the doors, and I will be among them, enjoying the signs and wonders God uses to nurture our hope.
“This prompted the chief priests to seal their plans to do away with both Jesus and Lazarus, for his miracle testimony was incontrovertible and was persuading many of the Jews living in Jerusalem to believe in Jesus.” John 12:10-11
Yes, our lives have been turned upside down by this undeniable miracle, and today, three weeks after surgery, Kiara is upside down in joyous cartwheels as she stretches her legs after doing an hour of Maths at her pre-accident level.
And it makes me think, how much of this miracle-living are we supposed to hope for? How much of our energies should we be spending pulling heaven into today, and how much should we be focused instead on pulling people into heaven?
We are not promoting a hankering after a perfect life of health and prosperity. And yet, together with you, we will spread the news!
“All the eyewitnesses of the miracle Jesus performed when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead kept spreading the news about Jesus to everyone. The news of this miracle of resurrection caused the crowds to swell as great numbers of people welcomed him into the city with joy. But the Pharisees were disturbed by this and said to each other, “We won’t be able to stop this. The whole world is going to run after him!””
Our Jesus is not afraid of fighting the good fight or losing life and limb in the battle. He is assured of the final victory, and as we join our Captain in death he leads us through to resurrection life.
“The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever! If you want to be my disciple, follow me and you will go where I am going. And if you truly follow me as my disciple, the Father will shower his favor upon your life. Even though I am torn within, and my soul is in turmoil, I will not ask the Father to rescue me from this hour of trial. For I have come to fulfill my purpose— to offer myself to God.”
And if this is the cry of my Lord and Master, then this is my cry, too. To offer myself to God for his purposes, whatever they may be. Today’s joys and pains are in his hand, as we trust him with our future hopes.
We continue to hold in tension our willingness to follow him to death, and our authority to call the dead to life.
For Kiara we are still praying:
1. For healing of the wound in the back of her head. We are seeing healthy tissue at last, and even a spattering of hair, but it continues to be raw and not yet covered by skin.
2. For her speech to continue to improve, in speed and her ability to communicate age-appropriately.
3. For her suture wounds to heal well. They are looking great and infection-free after three weeks, which is the usual amount of time for any infection from surgery to have declared itself.
4. For the skull to knit miraculously and cover the weak and exposed parts of her brain.
5. For her ability to concentrate and her motivation to keep learning. We are hoping to start Grade 8 in the new term. It would be a miracle if she could do her correct level