Emptier Still

It’s been more than three years, and I’ve said little of it since that day.

Maybe I’ve felt like Ezekiel, to whom God says:

“Son of man, behold I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.” The story continues this way…

‘So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at the evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.’

No time nor place for grief, it seems.

 Ezekiel performs this bit of ‘theater’ to illustrate the people and their inability to mourn for their sins. Inability to mourn grows first from hardness toward sin. And a critical spirit toward suffering can only be the fruit of prideful exemption from it.

My silence arises from the church’s persistent failure to share medical trials. I lost my oldest son when we were completely tangled in another child’s annual marathon cycle: working to contain a disease at home, failing to treat it on our own, heading far away for a long hospital stay, and then returning underneath another burdensome protocol. For four years, this cycle never held my son in remisssion.

Many months after my son died I labored through the last long hospital stay. No time for grief. No one standing in the gap for a bereaved mother. After all, they’ve left me to this solo mission for years. I’ve scraped along with no allowance for anything else. 

 

 

The church finds no time. Not. Even. Now. 

 

To a man, leaders fancy themselves as too mission-critical to get messy. They tether little people to their own trials and hand off some of the leadership’s too. Our expense. Their gain. Even our confessed sin and brokennness gets held aloft as ‘exhibit A’. With no natural spirit-driven cascade of repentance, they co-opt our softheartedness as their own. 

In my case, Jesus stepped into this gap, completely outside this ‘church’ which so loudly claims him. And this all seems a happy ending for now. But I’m disillusioned with ‘covenental’ thinking. In nearly twenty years, its been used only to take and take some more. I’ve not known Christ’s presence because of them… but rather IN SPITE of them. 

 

I write because I still mourn…. and find no space for my grief. 

 

 

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