Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What We Think....and What He Knows

Tonight, a dear old friend of nearly 80 years lies in a hospital bed, breathing on a ventilator.

We are not sure of his condition, not sure whether he will recover, survive, or whether he will be with us much longer. As I ponder this, my eyes move from the cold concrete at my feet, a feeling of depression, slowly heavenward to the cool Southern California night.

This is the time when we realize the difference between what we think and what He knows.

We think.....we are the masters of our lives. We are such silly and pompous people, trying daily to form lives that we can adjust, tweak, control. We carefully chose the right schools for our children, attempting to secure their future financial security. Shame on us.

He knows....that what really matters is the character of our lives, not the knowledge in our heads.

We think....we can shape our the world to fit our needs. We have 401K plans, and mutual funds, and exercise programs designed to minimize body fat, healthy foods full of fiber. We move on the freeway in climate controlled cabs. We insulate our relationships to minimize exposure to pain and suffering; keeping the hurting people at a distance.

He knows, that a life spent giving away is the life that really matters.

We think....we can make it on our own. We are Americans after all. We tamed the wilderness. Successful. Independent. Self reliant. Free.

And then, we face a friend lying in ICU, surrounded by machines. Powerless, both of us. Or we watch as someone we haved loved all our lives slowly fades into the fog of dementia, or Alzheimers. We watch a young mother of two children succumbs to a terrible battle with tumors that rage through her body. We think....

He knows......He knows it all. He is there in the midst of this. Present. Both here and on the other side of this life mystery. He walked this earth once, 2000 years ago. He was here, right with us. He felt the sun on his face, saw the suffering of his people. Touched the unclean. He felt the frustration, the longing, the pain and lonliness. He was surrounded by the cool air of a tomb. He knows. And in His knowing, He loves us, waits for us, longs to be with us.

He is with us still......even now, on this difficult night.
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