I don’t want to relive last week. But I would. In a heartbeat, if that is what it took for me to see the power of family and community that God designed for us.
Getting word of our son in a head on collision was traumatic. God allowed us to receive erroneous information about him walking around the accident site that gave us hope. Until we laid eyes on him and realized that wasn’t possible. But I am thankful for that hope. He was alive. Alert. And ready to heal.
I am thanking God for an affliction that did not touch the soul but magnified what was already there.
His bones were broken but his soul was intact. And in this difficulty, his spirit overflowed.
I am thankful for what this trial has revealed about all of our children: this uncommon bond that stirred each one to action, protection, and grace for each other. Sidelined for much of the week myself, I have been a spectator to most of the activity. And as a parent, I am in awe. There is no greater joy than to watch each of them rally to care for each other in such unselfish ways.
I think I got a taste of God’s heart this week. If watching my own children care for their own so unselfishly moves me this much, what must it do to God when we step out for our fellow man? Isn’t this the test of community? Isn’t this part of the purpose of the body of Christ? What kind of joy must it bring God to see us set aside our plans and pettiness to meet each other’s needs in real time?
God sets the lonely in families. He sets us in church families. And when we open ourselves up to the inconvenience of a group text, a spreadsheet schedule, a common mission where we regularly share the smallest victories and markers of progress with each other, we are fulfilling God’s plan for us. We watched the church do this for us. And it brings God joy. I am certain of it.
We can sit and fester about why horrific things happen to begin with, but this I know, uncommon struggles show us what we are made of. They reveal what is really inside. Like Job, whose soul the devil was not permitted to touch, the body can be broken. But only God has rights to the soul.
I don’t want to relive last week. But I would.