For three weeks now, I have been sitting beside my daughter’s bedside in the hospital. I have documented the journey on my facebook page. But, long story short, she was finally diagnosed with herpes Simplex 1 encephalitis. It is rare, brutal, ugly, with a high fatality rate. You can find all of the details on wikipedia so I won’t give them here.
But I would like to document here some of my thoughts, now that I am getting them together.
Yesterday was an awesome day. She’s eating with a full appetite. Pizza, fries, mashed potatoes, ice cream…
This morning, she said, “heyo dad!” when I walked in. It is really fabulous.
But that is the limit of her words. The virus has caused damage in the part of the brain that processes speech – but she is young and the brain is remarkable. We are hopeful.
When you look death right in the face, when your loved ones go through trials like this one, you learn to say things like this:
What is thy only comfort in life and in death? That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own but belong to my faithful savior Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sin and redeemed me from all the power of the devil, and so preserves me that without the will of my father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head….(Heidelberg Catechism, Q1)
We have trivialized Christianity into a political movement, a culture war, a movement of power rather than a cry of helplessness.
We have become a church of moral busybodies, so concerned about what others are doing and so afraid of everything…and we forget that there are real things to actually fear.
And when we forget the real curse that is on the world, we turn Christianity into a weird ethical system that is all about homeschooling, courtship, virginity, tattoos and earrings and power plays and making sure women “know their place” and we forget that it is about redemption.
Because bondage is real, death is real, the curse is real, my sins are real.
I don’t need to win a culture war. I need a savior.
I don’t need an ethical movement. I need a savior.
I don’t need moral busybodies. I need a savior.
When you forget that, then you are no longer a Christian in your thinking.
When you stare death in the face, that is when you remember the power of the resurrection. That is when you know what Paul meant when he said that he counts everything else as dung that he might know Christ and the power of his resurrection.
And thank you, Great Physician, that my little girl is eating and saying “Heyo, Dad!”
Thank you, Shepherd of Israel, that her face lights up when her friends visit.
And thank you, Father of Lights, for the light in her eyes.