Father, my heart hurts. Hurts for my friend who just lost her husband. Hurts for another who recently lost her mother. Hurts for the parents of a friend whose sweet baby girl is now in Your arms. Hurts for my son who’s slipped down another valley in this journey through chronic illness. Hurts for my husband who is weary and tired. Hurts for my dear BFF lying in a hospital fighting a serious infection.
I want to do something, Lord, anything to ease the suffering, the pain, to help in some physical, tangible way. Something, anything, to keep my mind and hands and heart busy, because it hurts to think, to feel, to experience this again and again in Your beloved children.
How does Your heart not shatter into a billion shards a second? How do You hear and know and feel the pleas of Your children day after day after day?
It hurts, and my heart aches, and I pray, and that hurts too, for Your Word says I’m to rejoice in all things, always. But how?
How do I rejoice in pain and grief and sickness and death?
And yet somehow in the quiet, I do. I rejoice that my brother discovered You just before he died, that he’s dancing on streets of gold with his signature grin and a twinkle in his eye, absolutely loving his new life.
I rejoice that my beautiful friend’s husband shared precious words with her the week before he died, words forever etched in her heart before his stopped. I rejoice that he knew You and loves You, and is just beginning his grand new adventure.
I rejoice that my friend loves You, feels You, and trusts You even when it hurts. And it does hurt, Lord.
I would do anything to alleviate my son’s illness, my husband’s frustration, my friends’ suffering and pain and fear and weariness, but I can’t. I can only walk beside them and pray, even when I don’t understand.
So I’m back in that small space where fear slides in with the shadows to tie sticky fingers round my heart. And it hurts, Lord, this loving.
Oh… but You know that too, this agonizing love of broken Creation, for it cost You Your Son – agonizing Love that stood aside as we broke His body and beat His spirit and wounded His soul, all because You love us.
How is it possible, this love that sacrifices all, that loves us inside out, and costs You deep? And yet it is, because You are.
And it’s enough. And I’m amazed and humbled and awed to rejoice in the hard simply because You love, You’re here, You are. Amen.
*Written for my dear friend Pamela, whom I love like a sister.