Monday, October 31, 2005

Today was one of those days in chapel where "you bleed just to know you're alive." The pastor at the University Baptist Church in Waco was electrocuted when adjusting a microphone before a baptism, and he died shortly afterward. Brandon Woodruff is still in jail, awaiting trial, I suppose. And Jeanene Reese talked to us about confessing sins and being able to be real. Pain is so amazingly inherent in the human condition. Even in the good times, we can't escape.

That sounds like a hopeless statement...yet it's not, really. Pain, as confusing and messy and heartrending as it is, brings us closer together, reminds us that we're all human, that none of us are in this alone. The pain of losing Cheryl last year bound my Oxford family so much closer together. My best friends are the ones who have not only picnicked in the sunshine, but trudged through the valleys with me. And pain doesn't have to mean the story's over. As one who has spent a lot of time in the valley over the past year, I know the valley doesn't always hold the words "The End."

I believe in the rest of the story
I believe there's still ink in the pen
I have wasted my very last day
Trying to change what happened way back when

I believe in the human condition
We all need to have answers to why
More than ever, I'm ready to say that I
Will still sleep peacefully
With answers out of reach from me until...

Someday all that's crazy, all that's unexplained
Will fall into place
And someday all that's hazy through a clouded glass
Will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting
For someday
~"Someday," Nichole Nordeman

Someday we'll be home for real, forever...and someday all those prophesies about heaven will come true, in ways we never imagined. Jesus came to offer us life both then and now - of that I have no doubt. Abundant life doesn't begin after we die. But when this life wears thin and the days grow dark, it helps to cling to the distant - but bright - promise of someday.


Blogger Scott said...

Reminds me of a story I may have already told you. My uncle Jerry was going through one of the most Job-like experiences I had ever witnessed. He learned in the course of a week that his wife was cheating on him, that she had spent all of his savings and retirement at the casino, that his sons were addicted to crack, and a whole buncha other stuff.

He just went to the airport, hopped on a plane (no suitcase), and flew to Denver. He called us from the airport and said, "come pick me up." This usually jovial "life-of-the-party" man sat in our living room and sobbed for hours while my dad just sat next to him.

Jerry said almost nothing in the days that followed unusual for Jerry). One evening, we were sitting in the living room when my youngest sister started wondering out loud, "I wonder when Jesus is coming back?"

Jerry look up, raised the middle of his eyebrowes, and said, "I don't know sweetie, but I sure hope it's tomorrow."

For the first time in my life, I believed someone who said that. And from that day since, I have longed to see the day where the wounds pain no more.

3:28 PM  
Blogger rkw said...

And this is the irony of the Gospel isn't it. Whoever wants to save his life, will loose it, but whoever looses his life for for me will find it. It may be about death, but it may be about the valley. You decide. But the point is that one can only feel so much Joy as he can feel pain. I remember my mother's relapse. I watched my mother die, but her body kept moving around and talking. You could tell she was dead if you looked at her eyes. There was no person there. I remember sitting in the bathroom with a small pocket knife held to my wrist. It was dark and cold. It was my own walk through the valley as our good friend illustrated for us last week. But, there is nothing like the light on the other side of the valley. Like the first breath of air after baptism. Some part of me almost says that we need the valley, so that we know how good the sun is. When I look back on the way things were in my life, I wouldn't change anything. Something tells me that without out the pain I have known then I wouldn't know what it meant to be saved from it.

11:08 PM  

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