Do I Care?

Would I really?….

My grandmother has back pain. Terrible, crippling back pain. She literally must sit all day; sometimes she lays down if it gets intolerable. So my grandma, after a lifetime of working hard, and constantly being in motion, sits on the couch and watches TV. Unable to work full time as she always has. Unable to be comfortable. Now, her only joy in life is her family. The 5 minute phone calls that come once or twice a day; the Christmas visit. A once-independent woman now relies completely on others to take time from their busy schedules to stop by and make her smile. That’s her life.

I am young. I have much hope for my future: college, a career, kids, adventures. I have great friends, a handful of good jobs. I have a church community as well as my own truck and the ability to come and go wherever I please, whenever I please.

Would I, given the chance, trade with my Grandma? Would I turn away all the hope of my future for the sake of relieving her pain? Do I care that much?

Is she more important to me than…me?

I like to think so, but I know that I could not take on her burdens without sinning against her, and God, in the midst.

That’s the difference between me and Jesus. He did what I am incapable of doing. He looked down from perfection, saw pain and swirling torture. From my shoulders He willingly lifted the weight of Hell, and for 33 years He lived far from the perfection He deserved.

All for me.

All to free.

Advertisements

This Continual Conversation

And I entreat Him again using countless cliche complaints:

When will the pain float on?

Will there be another day without the groaning, aching, and ripping plaguing my every posture?

Please take it away; will you not take this cup from me soon?

You have promised to end the hurting; when will that day come?

He answers with characteristic immutability:

I won’t say when, but the day will come. I promise. It is the same day that I have promised to the young mothers in Uganda, Brazil, Brooklyn. You’ll share that day with the sufferers in Syria. That is the day when prisoners will be released and returned to their families. That’s the day when the needs of children with bellies bloated from hunger will finally be met. The kids who sniff glue, the men who worked day and night just to watch their first born commit suicide, the women whose hair was stolen by cancer; all await that day. The planet earth groans in its’ impatience for the time to come.

You are selfish in thinking that you alone know pain.

 

Hallelujah, there is hope.

My heart overflows with gladness.

Even so:

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Head, Hands, Feet

So I went to sing songs in the kids class this morning (like I do every Sunday) and we sang the hymn When I Survey the Wonderful Cross.  Then I migrated to my “adult” (what does that even mean, really?) Sunday school class where we sang O the Wonderful Cross: a slight rendition of the aforementioned, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.  I enjoyed that because it was a little bit different.  Yay.  Guess what we sang in actual worship?? When I Survey…!!!   Hahahaha!  Funny, but I wasn’t as annoyed as you’d think a typical American would be over that. Why?  Because I saw a parallel between it, and my life.  That song contains the Gospel.  Week after week, day after day, God shows me the Gospel.  He lays it in front of me saying, “Eat this, the bread of life,” and then He weeps as I exchange it for the bread of the flesh.  He holds on, however, and He offers the bread once more.  He plays that song again:

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ my God!

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

On Sundays He sings it to me like a melody. Most of the time He has to scrape it into my skin like tattoo ink.

Thanks for doing that, Jesus. I love you.