Monday, June 9, 2008

Good news, bad news

The Beve called Friday afternoon with 'good news, bad news.' I never really like it when he plays this game; my stomach sinks at the sentence and doesn't come back to sea-level until he tells me 'there is no bad news,' which is sometimes (though not often enough!) the case. Friday though, it was just plain bad news. V had gotten into a fight, and would 'get to' begin summer vacation a week early. My stomach, heart, and just about everything else sank at that one, I have to tell you. It's foreign territory, dealing with this kind of thing for me. If it had been one of our three, I know exactly how I'd have handled the situation--because I've known JESK since they were womb-attached to me. (OK, so I can't imagine one of mine in this situation, that's beside the point!) But this one? I hadn't the faintest. A heart like a rock within me, I drove over to pick her up, stopping to pray with my neighbor before I went, and when I got there, I found a broken-hearted little girl, with a Berlin wall up all around her. And there I was, the only one in the room to help her.

I've known her exactly one week--and have to try to take the place of everyone who's ever loved her. Imagine that. Imagine your whole world being ripped away from you in an instant and being stuck with a bunch of strangers. No wonder she's mad, I thought. There's a faultline of pain right beneath the surface. I knelt down beside her and said, "I'm really sorry about this, but I'm all you've got." And she let me hug her. Then as we drove home, she began to tell me what happened. And sure enough, the crack opened up to reveal pain upon pain that had led to that fight. There are no band-aids for such large wounds, I can tell you that. I didn't even know where to start...

That night I told the Beve how panicked I felt, how out of my element. And he said, "Isn't that great? That's where God wants us." Of course, it wasn't what I wanted to hear. But it's really how Beve looks at life. And it's true. If we only do things that are easy for us, what good is that? Will we ever reach for Him? But if we are out of our comfort zone, we must rely on Him for everything. The Beve says life always comes down to control--our wanting it, fighting for it, having to let go of it. No matter what the situation, no matter what it costs, this is the Christian life. These days, as I feel out of control, I do rely on Him more. Absolutely. It's a good thing to learn--I know this in my head. I would love not to have to learn it in certain kinds of fire, but...fire does the job that nothing else can do. Refining us, making us Holy! Like it says in 1 Peter 1:7--"These have come so that your faith--being of greater worth than gold, which perishes, though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

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