Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
My friend got together with some people that he had not seen in a long time. Conversation around the corner table at Starbucks naturally turned into an update on each other’s lives. Mary was in the middle of a job change. Ted was still working in the corner office with the large window view. Mercy’s kids were doing great as ever, both excelling in the 3rd and 6th grade.
Then Stacey shared. At first, she was able to contain herself. Then her composure began to unravel, and with it, so did everyone else’s. Stacey had grown up with partial blindness in her right eye. As she journeyed into her early 20’s, surgeries on the eye took a turn for the worse, leaving her permanently blind in the right eye. Now years later, she is having trouble seeing out of her left eye. She went in for tests and the report confirmed her fear: she was progressing towards being permanently blind. She faces the same surgery that cost her the sight of her right eye fifteen years ago. Her days are now filled wondering how long she will be able to see the faces of her children.
When Stacey finished telling her story, the listeners, including my friend, sat stunned. Breaking the silence, Ted asked what kind of doctor she was going to see. Mary asked where the surgery would take place. Mercy wanted to know what hospital her first surgeries took place in. Stacey calmly answered, the flow of her tears ceasing more and more with each question.
As my friend related the story to me, I sat amazed. I, too, was taken into Stacey’s story. What also amazes me is that we (human beings) struggle so deeply with our inability to control life. We hate mystery and the unknown. When it comes to life and death and things that matter, we want control. In response to Stacey’s story, her friends responded with concrete questions that had sure answers. A reach to maintain some sort of control. Stacey may never know what her son’s face will look like when he say’s “I do” and kisses his bride. And our instincts are to ask about the names of doctors.
I wish we could just sit in silence and cry. Instead, like Adam and Eve’s arms, we greedily reach for control. God is a mystery. And thus, life is too. How refreshing it might be to enter into the pain of living outside Eden and accept that. Maybe then we would echo in unison Revelation 20:1, “..Come, Lord Jesus!”