Will’s prayers have changed.
It’s hard to watch happen, watching your kid harden. Watching him lose hope.
But I can’t blame him for his feelings, he has a heart of flesh and he’s 5.
Well, he’ll be 6 on Monday. But it seems this pandemic has aged him a bit beyond his years.
4 weeks ago, Will was ripped from his school without warning. He was taken from his friends that he sees everyday and his teachers that he loves so much. He left without saying goodbye.
3 weeks ago we took his birthday party. Not just his fun friend birthday, but his family party with his Mimi and his Poppy and his aunts and uncles. We told him it would just be the 4 of us and that he wouldn’t get the thing he had been talking about for months.
2 weeks, we took his trip to the Kennedy Space Center and to Legoland. We told him we weren’t going and we didn’t know if we would get to go this year. We told him we would try our hardest but we couldn’t promise anything.
And while all this was being taken from him, his 5 year old heart maintained a stiff upper lip. He cried a little, sure he was sad, but he continued to see the good. He held onto hope that someday our life would return and he would be surrounded with the things he loves again.
But last week, his prayers changed.
He’s been praying that everyone with Corona virus be healed and that God would take the virus from our world completely. But lately his prayers are pleas of comfort for families and people with the virus and that someone would find a medicine for it soon.
Now I want you to understand that this change isn’t bad - he has always prayed with such sincerity and depth. These prayers, both of them, are good prayers. But I can see the hope draining out of him and he changes from God can just take care of this to God please can this get taken care of?! I can see it in him because I feel it in me. I can see it in all of us.
4 weeks ago, our entire globe changed overnight. And it’s easy to have hope in the moment, it’s hard to maintain it in the long suffering. It’s hard to maintain it as people lose their jobs and their business. It’s hard to maintain it as people go hungry or get sick. It’s hard to maintain as we watch our doctors and nurses go full into the fray day after day. When will they get reprieve? When will we get reprieve? Will we ever feel whole again?
It’s awfully hard to hope in the in between.
Yesterday was a dark day in our faith. The day they hung our Savior on a cross and He suffered our death for us. It’s a holy day, a hard day.
Tomorrow is a day of victory in our faith. The day that the tomb was laid bare and He overcame the world.
But today, today is the in-between. And I’m not sure I’ve ever understood the disciples more than I do now. What it must have been like to try and hold onto the unraveling hope around them. To grasp the strands of it as their flesh filled heart failed them.
The anguish of losing hope feels heavy. It’s weight lays on our shoulders and atop our chests.
It seizes up in our bellies and you can almost hear the enemy laugh as it steals our breaths and plunges us into it’s darkness.
I’m so sorry, my brothers, that I never understood the in between. I’m so sorry, boys, that I never took the time to breathe in the hopelessness of Saturday. Because we, on earth right now; the entire whole of the earth, has found itself here in the in between.
The dark deep of hopelessness has found its way in, friends. I know it has. I can feel it in me, trying to find a place to root. I can hear it in my friend’s voices. I can see it on the news and on social media. But friends, hear me; Saturday was temporary.
It hurt and it was real and they wept and that’s happening. All this hurts so much.
But it won’t last.
I don’t know when this pandemic is over and I don’t know how it ends. But I know it does.
I know it does.
Because, my friends, He woke up.
And He got up.
And He walked out of the dark and into the light.
And He did it, so that we would know how.
So tomorrow, when we wake up to virtual church and simple meals, let’s celebrate not as people in between. But as people with eyes wide open.
As a won people.
Saturday is gone.
Death is defeated.
The world is not forsaken.
This virus won't be the end.
Because a cross wasn't the end.