As time creeps closer to Christmas there is a part of me that almost panics with desperation. This year's Christmas is so incredibly difficult.
Even now, I write this weeping, struggling with envy over a brother in Christ who is about to lose his grandmother - I know that sentence doesn't make sense, but all my eyes can see is that someones suffering is over, they will see Heaven, he will only mourn a very temporal loss as he is heaven-bound as well.
I've prayed so hard for my mother to find relief. I have fasted, I have wept, I have literally groaned with emotion. Yet now, as we approach the final days before my mother enters a nursing home my imagination envisions her first night in a cold institution that is not home and cries out to God that He would let her see home.
I've struggled with God. There's always that foolish wish that God just do it, you know, whatever it is you're wanting. But He doesn't quite work that way.
Slowly I've been making my way through The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and one part caught my attention and I thought it might reach someone else the way it did me. Because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person in the world who has failed at using God as her magic lamp.
For those of you not familiar with the book, Lewis writes from the perspective of a older, wiser demon writing to a novice demon just starting out on how to best win the patient away from the Enemy (God) and over to "Our Father Below" (The Devil). The older demon/Uncle "Screwtape" writes to his nephew Wormwood:
Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
Those words convicted me when I read them because as much as I'd like the world to revolve around my answers to my prayers - it doesn't. I love Him and I want to want to serve Him even when I ache so much for her pain that I can't breathe. I love Him and I want to want to serve Him when the answers I get don't make sense, when the plans don't work out, and when the substance of things hoped for never becomes actual "substance".
So when that day comes, roughly 9 days from now, when my mother spends her first night in a building, rather than a home, I will weep again and I will feel shattered into pieces...
...and I will love You Lord.