I’m not given to strong emotions. Actually, I have difficulty feeling sad. I just hate it. Sometime in my childhood, I learned that sadness wasn’t “appropriate”.
I idolized Mr. Spock from ST:TOS, (For the syfy naïve that’s “Star Trek: The Original Series”.) I knew as a fourth grader that Mr. Spock was half human and half Vulcan. Vulcan’s are known for being logical. They aren’t devoid of emotion; they just refuse to be ruled by their emotions. Mr. Spock, as half-human, desperately wanted to be seen as Vulcan and struggled to keep his all too human emotions under control. I wanted to be him. Learning the “Vulcan Salute” was a given, but I went so far as to sit cross-legged on the bathroom counter, looking in the mirror, and trying to raise one eyebrow while saying “Fascinating”.
Two women that I love are in failing health. My mother has had numerous medical procedures, pulmonary embolus, pacemaker placement, shoulder surgery, medication reactions, etc. You name it and she’s probably had it along with all the exceptions to the rules. She was a vigorous woman when I was growing up, loving and jovial, bossy and in charge. She could always tell what needed to be done and had probably already done it. I’ve joked that you could call her at 5:00pm and tell her that you were bringing 20 people for dinner and she would welcome them with open arms and a hearty meal. That’s all changed now. She really can’t do for others like she used to and in fact, needs help herself most days.
Similarly, my mother-in-law has always had a smile for everybody and a servant’s heart for everyone in need. She loves her daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren and greets us all with a hug and a kiss. My MIL can cook a turkey better than any I’ve ever tasted (and she has fortunately taught my wife!) She’s never been the gale-force wind that my own mom can be, but she is always accepting and loving and kind. Her health is failing.
Sunday morning, I picked my MIL up to take her to church and she wasn’t doing well. She is well aware of her decline and was feeling a bit emotional as a result. It was tearing me up to see her in her sadness. I held it together until church.
Right before we went into the worship center, a woman who stands near me in the choir, a woman who I have known tangentially for many years, told me that she has just been diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. The damn dam broke.
Oh, I didn’t openly weep! That would have been against the “Cooper Family Values” that sadness is bad; but I was sad. I felt it deeply. I could hardly hold it together to sing. “Our God Saves”?, “Jesus Messiah”? “How Marvelous”? Really Jesus? I usually worship with my whole heart and sing with abandon, but not Sunday. I was grieving.
We lost so much at The Fall. Life. Freedom. Wholeness. Everything.
Revelation 1:18 says Jesus holds the keys to death and Hell.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Maranatha. Come quickly.