Monday, July 10, 2017

three hours of darkness

Dear Nahum,

Two mornings after your birth, I woke up in my hospital bed crying. It almost seemed like my tears had started before I awoke. As I lay there on the pastel yellow hospital sheets, aching for you before I was almost even conscious of what I was doing, the sequence of my thoughts was as follows:
  1. I'm awake.
  2. I'm crying.
  3. God the Father mourned His Son, too. 
Along with my tears came the thought of the three hours of darkness that God the Father brought "over the whole land" as His Son was dying. 

Three hours in which God was not
checking His phone,
doing His freelance work,
inviting over guests, or
talking to friends.

Three hours that were separated for darkness —
three black hours,
three somber hours,
three inexpressibly sad hours.

I don't know what our mourning for you will look like, but remembering that God mourned His Son's death gave me some freedom. Freedom to let my tears soak through my sleep mask if they need to. Freedom to not think I have to work up some happy when I'm struggling with our loss. Freedom, not to be self-centered, but to genuinely acknowledge
how deeply sin has broken our world,
how deeply that brokenness has hurt us,
and how deeply we long for Jesus to heal our broken world.

We will mourn with our own version of "three hours of darkness". And that's not only OK, I think it's right. Because so much in this world has gone wrong.


PS - Another thought came to me as I was writing this letter. God the Father willingly saw His Son die, so that when I saw you die, I would have hope. What kind of God is this, that He would choose His own suffering in order to someday end our suffering? He is clearly not a God who wishes evil upon us. Nahum, this is the God to whom we entrust both you and ourselves.