Moments in Life
There is that moment when I fell to my wife's knees, weeping, the day I moved the last of my things out of the house, but unable to say the words "I was wrong - forgive me - can we begin again?" and find the long way back, through repentance to some semblance of life. It was the end of a 10 year marriage.
There is was moment, in West Texas, late at night (I had been out drinking with my fellow comrades-in-arms) when I came back to my quarters and happened on tv program of a pastor talking to teens about Jesus' great discourse in Matthew about the Sheep and Goats, and I was terribly convicted, and remained convicted, to this day - though my condemnation is more pronounced since I have done little since then.
There is a moment when the nurse hit the red button on the wall and we did not know whether my new baby boy would live the night and I had to walk down the hall to tell my wife the news [she was trying to get sleep as I went to watch the boy get what was a somewhat routine blood draw], as the crash cart came in and they rushed him to the pediatric ICU.
There is a moment when my first child was born, and lay in the crib, looking at me with dark eyes and holding my finger.
Over the last 24 hours a series of moments have reminded me, in no uncertain terms, that my life is forfeit to my Master, and my plans and stratagems and ideas are but dust. Among several other little things, we have learned that we have but a few months to schedule a series of precarious but necessary surgeries to avoid paralysis and other permanent damage to joints, bones, and spine in my son. My vehicle, at a venerable 132,000 miles, has broken down for the 4th time in as many months, and my tractor sits broken as well, beyond my ability to repair (little enough things, but even on a small farm, truck and tractor are essential since I don't have the animal and equipment for horse-powered work). My self-employment, whilst barely keeping us afloat, is not yet generating enough to keep us going into the winter.
I say these things, not to ask charity, or sympathy or pity. I still live like a great lord compared to most of those on earth and those who have ever lived. I will eat tonight. I have seen the sad faces of the men in the Middle East, forced to build buildings in the blazing sun and waiting, waiting, each day for day labor at slave wages [1-2 dinar/day, no different than in the scripture]. I have seen the orphans in cities in Mexico, and the hungry, the mentally ill, and the destitute on the streets of our own cities. No - it is not that.
But I realize that my plans and ability for a new barn, to plant some certain crops, to get the brush removed from the fencerow, to simply make the mortgage or ever hope to pay for my son's medical bills; even my son's very life and all that I call "my family" and "my household" are forfeit to One and such petty dreams and aspirations may never come to pass and yet I am commanded to die to that and live to Him.
The little things of the past 24 hours make me think of Job and wonder - could I stand it? If the house were knocked down by earthquake; if tomorrow the wrong nerve were pinched and my child were paralyzed permanently, could I stand it? Would faith hold? What sort of faith do I have? Any?
It is exceedingly hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. God help me.
There is much more - more that I wish to put out on a blog; but my realization finally is that I have not put to death the old man every day as I should, and nothing that I have done amounts to much.
I stand hearkening to the whirlwind, but unlike Job, I have no claim to righteousness. My sufferings (such as they are) are well deserved, even if my child's are not.
Here I am, Lord
All I have is Yours, and nothing worth. Take my mite, forgive my transgressions, and heal me, if Thou wilt.
I will be taking a break for a while. May you have a memorable Memorial Day, remembering the fallen. You do remember them, don't you?
I think I see a valley,
Covered with bones in blue,
All the brave soldiers,
That cannot get older,
They're asking after you . . .