Saturday, March 31, 2012

Heaven

On Tuesday I noticed a nasty, puss-filled pimple-looking thing on Brooklyn's fever. On Wednesday she had a fever that got up to 102. Being the Web-MD-reliant mom that I am, I began listing her symptoms in order to see what kind of trauma my child had. Of course, I decided she had a Staph infection and that she was going to die.

See, I have a problem with expecting the worst. Brandon thinks I'm horribly morbid for this, but to me it's the relief I feel when it's anything but my expectations that make me happy. Ignorance is not bliss to me- I want to know, and if I can't or don't know, I will make up the most horrid scenario possible so I am pleasantly surprised later. Ask my husband how many times I have assumed he was in a car accident when he didn't answer his phone. He won't be able to count them all.

I took Brooklyn to the doctor on Thursday, listening to KSBJ while I drove. "Hallelujah", by Heather Williams began playing.  I'd never thought much about that song either way, but in that moment, I finally felt the force behind the words that were sung.

Jesus, please come, please come today
Heal me, hear me, be near me I pray

One of my favorite hymns (#712 in the old school songbook) is "Jesus is Coming Soon". Such a triumphant, rocking song about the ultimate victory. We're always supposed to be looking up, hoping and praying that Jesus comes soon. I'm not good at this. At all.

I love my life. I have a fabulous husband and a precious daughter, wonderful friends, a job I enjoy and am generally very happy with where I am. I've never had a huge trauma such as losing a family member or close friend and am and always have been in excellent health. My life has had its trouble, its drama, its depression and sadness, but overall I love my life.

And, I'm terrified of Heaven. It's true. It's one of the silliest things for a Christian to think and admit, but there it is, and it's got its roots in a very basic theory: we fear what we do not know. I can't understand eternity. I love the people around me now and want to know that I will be able to recognize them and keep loving them when we're all dead. So despite the fact that I sing "Jesus is Coming Soon", that thought scares the bajezus outta me. (How does one spell that word, anyway?)

On the way to Brooklyn's doctor appointment it hit me: if she were in any kind of serious pain or chronic ill condition, I would be praying FERVENTLY for Jesus to come back as soon as possible. Who wants to see their child hurting? Who wants to see their child die? No one on this Earth wants that. No one.

I smiled to myself. Yes, how easy it would be to pray for Jesus to come again to save my child from suffering. All of a sudden I understood: God sent his child TO suffer, and we enjoy our pleasures on Earth without giving Him a second thought. He looks down at us and says, "What are you thinking? Why do you love your life on Earth? Don't you know what I've done for you? Don't you know what I have in store?" And we all continue to live as if we're going to be the first person in history to live forever.

The doctor said Brooklyn's fever was an after effect of a cold/teething, and the pimple-thing on her finger was a fire ant bite. Whew! Yay for a mostly healthy child! How easy it was to hear that news and go back to picturing her growing up, going to school, playing sports and the like. An hour before I was asking Jesus to come, but now that my child is healthy, no thank you, Lord. Keep your son. What kind of a response is that?

This isn't going to be easy. It never has been, and me understanding one of my failings doesn't mean it goes away with the push of a button. It's going to take me a long time, and probably some epic turn of events, for me to want Heaven more than I want Earth. I can't help it... I love my family SO much. But I know what I need to do. I need to trust, and pray the words to the song that I heard 100 times before I ever understood:

Jesus, please come, please come today
Heal me, hear me, be near me I pray
I have fallen so far, flat on my face
I’m in need of Your grace today
I stumble and fall, but in spite of it all
Your love always stays the same
Hallelujah

Jesus, please come, please come today
Break me, mold me, use me I pray
But don’t give up on me now, I’m so close to you now
I’m in need of your grace today
Wipe the dirt off my face, hold me in Your embrace
Your love always saves the day
Hallelujah

On my knees, here I fall, in spite of it all
Hallelujah

And though it seems hard, I still trust in your love
Hallelujah

I have fallen so far, flat on my face
I’m in need of your grace today
Hallelujah

Sing hallelujah, amen


"Hallelujah"
Heather Williams

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