On 24 December at 23:50, while Kiara was in theatre, my sister, Deb, sent me this message:
This sickness will not end in death. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory. It will reveal the greatness of God’s son.
In this story in John 11, the man, Lazarus, does die! His family are devastated. But Jesus knew his plan was to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus knew the end from the beginning. His certain hope was in certain life. And yet we read that Jesus wept.
When Jesus saw the grieving sisters weeping at his feet, he was overcome with emotion, deeply moved with compassion. Jesus knows the certain life in our future, and yet he lives in the moment with us.
Yesterday was the first chance I got to process more deeply one-on-one with some of my children. I called Jed (11) into my room, and asked him to tell me his story of that night. He spoke of how he’d heard the news, of his confusion and what he’d felt. We opened up the moments of those first days, and then he went outside to play.
Yesterday evening, my husband noticed Jed looked down. Spirit-prompted, he followed Jed into his room, and asked him if he was okay?
With that, the dammed emotions broke, and waterfalls of grief sobbed through Jed’s body; he lay on his bed for half an hour, weeping under the weight of his dad. Overshadowed and protected, he poured out his pain. And though Daddy knew that certain hope was ours, he wept with his grieving son.
This morning I took Jed up to the hospital at dawn, and he spent 7 hours with his sister. They played mind games; he read to her; he waited while she napped.
Our hyperactive boy sat in silence while she slept, frowning reprovingly at noisy nurses. Each time she awoke he found something new that they could do, nodding encouragingly as she did her ‘homework’ and mouthing the answers to her as she used to do for him.
“That was so cool. She’s exactly the same. It just sucks that she needs to nap so much!” Heart full of the hopeful future, he sleeps easier tonight.
Your father knows his plans for you. Plans of a future and a hope. Health and children and love and wholeness - certain hope of certain life. And yet wherever you are in that journey, if grief or pain is the portion of today, his compassion keeps him present, living in this moment with you.