It was an ordinary moment.
You see, the triggers are often hidden in those ordinary moments. We were riding home from a weekend adventure. My mind was wandering aimlessly, contentendly among a variety of thoughts, not stopping for too long on any one subject but peacefully roaming along a number of different lines of thinking. It had been a good weekend and we had savored the moments. I was confident of that. The landmine came very unexpectedly.
I was thinking of my good friend who was to be induced into labor the next day. She was to deliver her third child and my mind began to speculate on the excitement and anticipation she must be feeling on this day. This joyful anticipation of going into the hospital with rounded belly, and coming home with arms full of joy, love, sweet baby smell and perfect baby feet. Meeting this child she had carried for nine months and beginning the process of discovering all the amazing facets to this new little soul, this brand new creation of the Master Artist.
And without warning my mind flitted to comparison, to what I anticipated from time in the hospital this week. I too was anticipating a long hospital visit, but there was no joy in my anticipation, for I was to prepare my body for another battle with cancer. I would enter with belly full of disease, belly not bursting with life ready to unfold, but with dead and dying tissues – necrosis they call it. I would leave with arms empty, and my body holding a little less life-giving blood.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were eagerly anticipating our Anna? That I was dreaming of our time in the hospital with her, our first meeting – face to face? That I was fantasizing about showing her off to family and friends who came to see us in that happy maternity ward? How did this happen? How did I skip that part? How did I get here again?
The tears burst through, despite my attempt to hold back the tide. I didn’t want to add memories of a crying mommy onto the end of a fun weekend full of happy family memories; I didn’t want that for my boys. Oh, I let them see me cry from time to time. I want them to know it’s perfectly ok to cry out to God, to let Him see your emotion, to feel those emotions and still come away knowing you trust Him. But not today, let’s end this day on a high note. Just today.
Brian: “What’s wrong?”
“I just got to thinking about K, I just got to thinking about their baby, about how they are going to the hospital tomorrow and coming home with a baby; and I am going to the hospital this week because I have cancer all over my body. ” Keep in mind this sentence took several seconds to get out, as I was crying heavily. Bless his heart for piecing it together.
“It’s just not fair. Oh, Brian, it’s just not fair.”
A pause, tears flowing, body shaking, mind grasping for solid ground through this earthquake of emotion…
He held my hand and quietly said all there was to say. I’m sure I had just torn open a fresh scar for him, made him feel a pain he had only recently managed to bury. How selfish of me but how very much impossible to avoid. For he said: “No, it’s not fair.”
And then a sudden stillness. A sudden sensation of arms wrapped strong around me, a rush of whispered, unintelligible but calming words.
“I know this feeling too. Let’s talk about unfair.”
It was a whisper, the Still, Small Voice.
Understand it was not sarcastic, not condemning, not angry. Just sympathizing truth.
My Jesus, brutally beaten, bleeding, exhausted, gasping for air, because of my sin. Because of your sin. Because of every human who has lived or who will ever live’s sin. Think of every dispicable, evil act ever perpetrated on this earth. He carried it all on his back.
He drank the full cup of God’s wrath. God’s WRATH: THE. FULL. CUP.
This man, who was Perfect Love. This man who was sinless, blameless, perfect. This man who healed, cast out, raised, fed, created, loved. This man who laughed with children and welcomed them on His lap.
This man was brutally tortured, spit upon, murdered – so I can share in His inheritance. So I do not have to suffer the consequences of my unending selfishness.
And I whine about “unfair.”
Let’s talk about unfair, my sweet one.
Oh, my Jesus, my loving God,
Surely your patience and your love for me is unfathomable. Be deaf to them: these selfish words of complaint; for I do not want your perfect, loving ears to hear them. I want only to sing praise, to sing my gratitude. Let that be all that you hear. Not because it is sin for me to bring my hurt to you, but because it is not what you deserve. It is not what my heart of hearts longs to bring to you. I want to pour my life out in gratitude, and gratitude alone, to you. In the Name of Jesus, Amen
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses… Hebrews 4:15
God took an ordinary moment, and infused an extraordinary truth: “It’s not fair.” He knows this feeling too.
Warning: This is graphic.