Well...after a late-night talk with David about fear vs. faith and what really matters (raising kids grounded in faith), I found myself in a strange way urgently drawn to evaluate this stage of our training. Reminded that as I wash the dishes and scrub the floor and see who's knocking at the door, I must not forget to carve out time for purposeful training.
I fear the swirling thoughts that were spilling out onto my pillow aren't spilling so well out of my fingers.
And who am I kidding about "somehow holding life more lightly"? True, I think heaven is more urgent, more beautiful for those who have greived. But as the shock wore off and the fear set in, I was reminded that sometimes in having lost many times, the fear of losing again is very real. So I sit in my dark kitchen and pray, "Lord, how do I give you my children again?" How does a mother hold tightly and let go all at once?
Many say..."the Lord will work it out" and "just trust Jesus" about these difficult matters. And oh how true (although trite-sounding). But when your reality includes the deaths of close people who were not "supposed" to die yet, your gut knows that trusting Jesus doesn't mean He'll wave a magic wand and make everything better. Sometimes everything is FAR from okay. Your roots have to learn to dig deep or you're in serious trouble. And you learn to live with the reality that you are not guaranteed one more day, one more minute with the ones you love. So you have to make them count.
What about those questions the kids ask when they're trying to process something like this? Bub...when I was in the weak-legs and crying stage, just said, "Momma, iss okaay. Momma, iss okaay." And Kayla just got big eyes and hugged me. But Karissa said, "Well, someday YOU'LL die and we'll have to go to your funeral." Yes. Thanks, dear.
I explained that as we greive we aren't sad for the one who died, we're sad for ourselves. Because heaven is FAR, FAR more awesome than we could ever imagine.
Later Karissa asked, "Mommy, do you want to see God?"
"Oh, yes, baby. I do!"
But then I lay in bed telling David that even that - spectacular as it it - is kinda scary. My recent reading in the Old Testament has reminded me that the OT God is.....well....scary! Of course, we have the balance of the incarnation in the New Testament and all that God is (with skin on) in his Power and Justice and Mercy and Love. But in my brain-spilling, I was immediately reminded of CS Lewis's powerful Narnia quote as Lucy and Susan try to comprehend Aslan:
“Is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond- the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Source: CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe
"'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
And letting that sink in - way in - is, I think, the balance between fear and faith.
If I get up in the morning and none of this makes sense, I can always delete it. That's why I don't like google reader. You can't delete that if you realize later how nutso you are. Let's hope I can go back and sleep this time or I may have to subject you to more ramblings. And all the people said, "Amen! - Lord, help the woman sleep!"