THE LULU CHRONICLES
|The Hubs with a few of those he loves.|
I finally understand. I get it. For the first time since I began my faith journey back when I was eleven years old, I finally understand God’s pain and God’s incredible pride. Those three days of watching His son stagger toward the cross were God’s most excruciating and most beautiful experience as a Father. When Jesus tied the apron around his waist and knelt on the floor, God must have held his breath. As the Son placed the feet of each follower on His lap and begun to cleanse away the filth, His Father must have stood in awe as He witnessed Jesus’ capacity to love.
In the garden, the pride turned to sorrow as Jesus wept and begged for mercy. God’s heart must have torn down the middle as He stood silently with His hands dangling at His side listening to the cries, yet knowing what needed to be done. With each slash of the leather cord and with each wound, God must have wrangled with His own heart and judgment. As the nails broke flesh and the spear pierced the Son’s side, surely God collapsed on holy dust and tore at His clothes. When Jesus uttered his last words, did His father wail and fall across His Son’s broken and ravished body? Surely.
I finally get it. I finally understand the cost.
As I watch my darling husband face death with such dignity, I am filled with that same pride. Even now, he still thinks of others. On Sunday our beloved church family gathered in every nook and cranny of our home and sang hymns of praise and longing. Gary was supposed to stay in bed and just listen. But no, he insisted I take him into the living room to be with his family.
The other night as I climbed into our bed and turned out the light, he whispered in his now raspy voice, “Do you know how to start the snow blower? Did I show you?” Just as Jesus prepared the Apostles for his death, Gary has lovingly tried to prepare me for his. From billing paying, to car maintenance, to snow blowing. Even now, in these last days, he turns his eyes towards me.
On Sunday, our little family gathered around our bed and shared communion and songs. I watched Gary gaze with now cloudy eyes upon each son and daughter-in-law and told them how proud he was of all of them. He has loved us all so well.
I write this at four in the morning as I listen to my darling’s slowing breaths. Oh, how I want to stop this. Oh, how I want to call out and shake my fist and rip at my clothing as the sorrow tries to strangle every bit of life out of me. But…
I get it now. I understand the sorrow of God as He watched His son die knowing it had to be. Life would follow death if He stayed the course. He knew! But the knowing did not ease the pain of the watching.
I know that with my darling’s last breath True Life will follow. Our Father promised it. His own pain and sorrow ordained it. Gary’s death will hold no chains.
I get it. And, as I lie at Jesus’ scarred feet on this quiet morning… I give thanks.