Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A day is like a thousand years...

I spent a good portion of this evening talking to a friend who I have not spoken to in almost 5 years. We last spoke when her young son was diagnosed with a hearing problem and ulimately deafness. She has lived what many would understand to be the life of 'Job'. It was inspirational and concurrently heartbreaking to hear her story. I tried to call her almost a year and a half ago after she lost her second child at 36 weeks, that was preceeded by her husband's job loss 3 weeks earlier. She mentioned that while I had tried to contact her she didn't have anything 'to give' to anyone and never replied. I understand. She found Lagniappe on the web and called this week to catch up. There was something of a kindred understanding in talking to her now- seeing pain, suffering, loss, brokeness with NO end in sight. To talk with someone who lives with the real tangible loss on a day to day basis was like talking to someone who has lived through/is living through their own personal Katrina. As we spoke I related so easily to her 'longing for heaven.' To hear her comments was redemptive. The old footprints poem came to mind, but in a much different way. Here was a woman who never saw 'two' sets of footprints, as far as she could see she could see only one. Jesus carries her ALWAYS. She and I laughed alot and marvelled at God's 'sense of humor'. She said, "I don't know why God entrusted these things to me- He should have picked someone more together...I was weak before all of this...I wasn't the one who was equipped to 'handle' all of this." She added, "but I always say 'entrusted' because that's how I see it- it is something He has given to me, for me, for good- a good I cannot see right now- sometimes it's hard even to brush my teeth." So real. So honest. So human. So beautifully weak. As we chatted I asked for her prayers for me personally. She assured me she would be praying. I asked this 'Jobish' friend if she had any advice. She said, "Just wake up and push your butt through the day and have alot of people praying." Solid advice. There is something powerful about suffering isn't there? It is a profound teacher, but not a profound 'answer giver'. It is like that favorite teacher who never TOLD you the answer, but always got you to delve into deeper questions. Longing for the anwser is a cruel exercise in futility. Longing for Him is better. Jesus said to Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Blessed indeed, but often that blessing is wrapped in messy knots which, in this life, have no ends.

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