Sometimes, words are not enough.
Sometimes, words confuse, weigh down…
But sometimes, words are all we have to give. And so these words are written, knowing full well how inadequate and superficial they are. And the hope is that through the words, love is shared – presence sent – courage grows – a candle is flickers – the darkness is kicked – and daylight spills out and overflows just a little bit more.
I was 17 when I moved into the dorms at Taylor – fresh from the jungles of Peru, a little overwhelmed and confused by the United States, by the culture, by life. I was heartsick and homesick and felt desperately alone, wanting to be with people who knew me – with my family & friends – for my mom’s cancer to be healed – for death to take a step back from our lives.
There was a community of international students, missionary kids, and other fun people who lived in a home off-campus called “the Souphouse.” For that 17 year old kid, this home and these people were a lifeline. They understood me, listened, and provided a safe place for me to adjust, acclimate, and begin to process what was going on in my life. Dave and Rhys were a part of that community, and I am so thankful.
This morning, I sat at my computer, reading about their daughter Lia, who is in a hospital in Seattle. I read, and I prayed, and I wept. She is fighting for life, for freedom from pain, and her family is with her in the midst of that. This is Lia. She’s three years old.
“…we’re not seeking a cure. we’re seeking to do as little harm, and hoping to introduce something good. the goal is to maintain, to hang on and get every bit of life from these moments…
…parts of lia dwell in God’s house already, her feet are dancing, and her mouth sings with the angels. her body runs without effort, and yet she is still tied to this earth. her body is ground-heavy, weighed with the brokenness of being alive. even as i treasure her, i know that her house is being built. it’s not brick and mortar, but a floor to ceiling windowed house that opens to jungles and oceans. giraffes run freely through the rooms, leaving behind little star shaped footprints. the ocean laps against her windows, and the dolphins come to speak with her. she holds a merry court with angels, and her body is strong.when i think about it like this, the promises don’t seem so hard. it’s just a deep measure of peace surrounding we two on the couch while we wait…”
water in my eyes…
As I was reading, I heard Gungor playing in the background: ”
This is not the end
This is not the end of this
We will open our eyes wide, wider
This is not our last
This is not our last breath
We will open our mouths wide, wider
And you know you’ll be alright
Oh and you know you’ll be alright
This is not the end
This is not the end of us
We will shine like the stars bright, brighter
and once again, tears streamed down my face. This is our hope, and our prayer. For Lia. And for the world.
“Praise, praise!” I croak. Praise God for all that’s holy, cold, and dark… I kneel down beside him till within his depths I see a star.
Sometimes this star is still. Sometimes she dances… Within that little pool of Wear she winks at me. I wink at her. The secret that we share I cannot tell in full. But this much I will tell. What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.
~Frederick Buechner (Godric)
As we wait, and hope, and pray, and mourn, and weep, and listen, and treasure, my mind keeps coming back to that last line.
“What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.”
So we pray peace, and rest, and love, and ringing peals of little girl laughter to fill and overflow that hospital room, for today, and each and every day that remains… And through the tears, we wait. And through the dark, we wait. We wait for hope realized. We wait for all things new. We wait for Easter. We wait for You. We wait… Be near us in the waiting.