A neat thing happened to me this week…I heard a song that really touched my heart (brought me to tears while I was driving) and I was disappointed I didn’t catch the song’s name or the artist who recorded it because I wanted to find it online and then yesterday I got an email from my good friend Grace that simply said “I can hear you singing this song” with the link to “Blessings” by Laura Story…THE song…the one I heard and couldn’t find! How fun…I love it when things like that happen and the timing of Grace’s email couldn’t have been more perfect as the song expresses so beautifully things that have been on my heart this Holy Week…a deeper, more experiential understanding of the beauty of Christ, hope in heaven and how it all intertwines with human suffering, heartbreak, struggle.
With each passing day, I’m amazed at how much energy Rolf and I spend thinking…it feels, sometimes, like our minds never stop spinning as we think through all of the practical, emotional and, yes, even the hypothetical details in caring for Rudy’s special needs, in caring for our family as a whole and in caring for the needs of Rolf’s work at the Rescue Mission. Rolf seemed deeply pensive recently and when I asked him what he was preoccupied with, his response was “I’m trying not to think”. Indeed!!!! If only we could shut down like we do our computers…just for a bit. We started seeing a pastor in town about a year ago to help us process all these things we spend our time thinking about and feeling whose wise and thoughtful counsel has been a true blessing. I was sharing with him one day about the potential of losing Rudy and how I had come to terms with that reality for Rudy’s sake but was struggling with my role in the equation…how I could see (and believe with all my heart) the wins for Rudy but, okay I’m going to be brutally honest here, couldn’t see the wins in it for me. I went on to explain how, to me, life for Rudy this side of death means a life with a family that absolutely adores him and has the capability and resources to care for him and life after death means eternity in heaven…whole, face-to-face with God, free of the things that restrict him now…win/win. But in my darkest moments, I confessed, I struggle with the knowledge that my role puts me front and center in watching his decline (should that be the pathway we walk) and then tremendous, unimaginable, life-sucking loss…no wins. After my drawn-out, twisted ramblings, he said “there are wins, you know, what are they?”. I shrugged my shoulders and out of a sense of obligation I listed things like “the joy of having him in my life – even for a short time”, “the many amazing lessons I’m learning in the process”, “greater dependence on God which is drawing me into deeper faith”, “the compassion and sensitivity toward people in need being cultivated in the big kids”, etc…all of which are true but hold little consolation, really, when life feels its darkest. But Denny wasn’t satisfied, I hadn’t hit it yet and he encouraged me to go deeper. Confused, I said “Denny, I don’t understand. What do you mean?” and very simply he said “Your wins are the same as Rudy’s!”. And in an instant the tears of pain and heartache that were streaming down my face led to tears of reassurance of and longing for…heaven! I had an eternal perspective on Rudy’s life and a very temporal perspective on my own!!! Because of Christ’s amazing sacrifice on the cross and triumph in His resurrection, heaven is MY win too. It’s a truth I’ve known for a very long time and it sounds so simple but there’s no way I can describe in words the profound depth this simple truth rooted in my heart that day – it was transforming. Sure, I still struggle with fear and how we’re going to get from point A to point Z but when I find myself slipping into mind-spinning thoughts, the thought of heaven and all that awaits me there pulls me up and onward…one step at a time.
Which brings me back to the song “Blessings”…here’s a link: Click here! Take a minute to listen and pay particular attention to these lyrics tucked in the bridge and final chorus…”When darkness seems to win,we know the pain reminds this heart that this is not our home…What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy.” Yes, YES, this is it…this is at the heart of all the challenges we face, isn’t it? I pray a special blessing on you this Good Friday…may you know this hope we have in Christ and may you be reassured that your deepest thirsts will one day be satisfied. A blessed and happy Easter from our family to you!