Today was tough. She is becoming more and more awake and alert, which means she is more and more aware of what has happened. That is tough.
She started rehab evaluations today, so we saw the extent of the damage. We don’t know how much will be permanent. No one does. That is tough, seeing the damage, knowing the names of the damage.
And my thoughts fly everywhere. My emotions fly everywhere. I didn’t sleep. I feel weak and foolish. I feel angry and I don’t know who to be angry with. I don’t know if she will laugh like she used to or call me silly names like she used to or giggle hysterically at ridiculous puns like she used to.
I don’t know what will happen – and I cry out in words I can’t form. I scream in exhaustion and somewhere the words I learned as a child come into my mind and in the whirlwind I have a place to put my feet.
“I believe in God the Father Almighty,”
Will the doctors be skilled? Will they know the secrets of the mind and body that they need to know? Will her eyes work right? Will she remember how to read and what words and numbers and colors mean?
“Maker of heaven and earth.”
Why is she suffering? Does anyone care? Is there redemption for her? Is there a plan in all of this? What is the purpose? Who’s in charge that I can cry out to?
“And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our lord…”
I don’t know how this will work out. I don’t know what her future will hold. I don’t know when our breaking point will be. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…
Is anyone walking with her, with me, with us?
“Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate…”
I wake at night with the words of Jacob in my head – “my days of the years of my life have been few and evil…” This cursed world seems brutal, short, ugly, harsh and I weary of life – and then, the words….the words…
“was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell.”
For us and for our salvation. His days were cut off brutally. He was abandoned by God so that she would never, ever be. He was forsaken so that she would never be alone in this cursed world, for he shepherds her and gathers her into his bosom….
And is there an end to this? Who will show us the way?
“The third day, he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the father almighty.
From thence, he shall come to judge the living and the dead.”
Life is often brutal, hard and short. Some suffer a little, some suffer tremendously. Some, like Lazarus, receive evil on this earth, while others receive good things.
But he is coming to judge the living and the dead. Every enemy will be destroyed. Every tongue stopped. Every virus destroyed, every twisted illness of Satan cast into the lake of fire.
And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
And what until then? Will we see good in the land of the living? Will God’s presence go with us until the end?
“I believe in the Holy Spirit”
But I so often feel alone and frightened and like there is no one who understand, no one to lift this burden, no one to share this journey…
“The holy catholic church, the communion of saints”
And I see the light of God’s countenance shining through the saints around the world. I know your prayers and your gifts and your encouragements and I again lift my head up and know that God has not left us without a witness, but the unanimous voice of the true church in all the ages joins their tongue with ours crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy!”
“Yet I have reserved for myself 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
And these footsteps through this dark valley are not in vain, and even when I cry out in unbelief and fear, the shepherd does not let me go. He still cleanses; he still gathers. He still finds the lost lamb…
“The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection from the dead, and the life everlasting…”
Complete victory will be ours. We shall see him face to face. Even when we don’t feel like it. Even when he seems to have forgotten. Even when the blackness gets blacker. I remember the words.
And then she hugs me. And then she says, “Heyo, Papa.” And then she smiles.
And the light of Jesus shines again through the faith which was once delivered to the saints, and the smiles of his servants, and the voice of their witness crying out together in the furnace of affliction….”how long, Lord? How long?”