This world houses massive quantities of pain and hurt. Collectively, humanity carts along more agony than we can bear to imagine. The hurt and pain in my life is but a tiny microscopic drop in the bucket of brokenness, but it is completely real to me. I am not Job. His agony was unfathomable. I have never been told to curse God and die, never been covered head-to-toe in excruciating boils, never lost all of those whom I love and care for. I am infinitely blessed. And I also inhabit a body and life of pain.
I am sitting in the pediatric wing of the hospital that I visited on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (for myself and children). I am craddling a sleeping toddler, who is struggling to breathe and hooked up to oxygen. Thank the Lord that he will be just fine. We just need to get through the winter of respiratory viruses. But it is still difficult to rock your suffering baby in the hospital, four days after rocking your other suffering baby in the hospital, in between your own twice-weekly visits to the hospital for infusions, awaiting your surgery the following week.
One of the silver linings is that we will hit our out-of-pocket max for insurance by April. And my husband is already at the hospital when he is called on to visit sick parishioners. And come spring, at least the children will probably be healthy again.
But it is hard. We are longing for wholeness, longing for healthy bodies and souls. Longing for a world where there is no need for infusion centers, hospitals, and oxygen tubes. Longing for redemption of all the bad and broken stuff in the world. Can God redeem all of it? Can He make all things right? ALL OF IT? Even death?
I see glimpses of the promise of redemption like collisions with another dimension or universe. The 17-month old in his hospital gown with cartoon tigers and yellow trim tripping over his cords to get to the hospital room window to squeal at the blue sky and sun shining in the midst of his coughing fits. Sitting in the infusion center laughing with the nurses over the probability of pets meeting us in heaven. The kind nurses bring Dora stickers to a restless little girl waiting for her fever to go down in the ER. Glimpses of the kingdom-present and future. Beauty flashes her persistent face in the trenches and promises to take a permanent position when all is made new and death is defeated.
I know that all will be redeemed because I know my Redeemer. I also know that all is being redeemed because I see it all the more clearly in the brokenness. We are going to be okay, and we absolutely aren’t alone.