Sunday, July 12, 2009

Drugs, drugs, and drugs & drugs

My dad, mom and I are sitting in the room with Jake. Still in the middle of a long period of waiting on the next step in this whole recovery process. They are currently changing up his medication, weaning him off of one and increasing others... too complicated to explain, but just know that it is part of the process of keeping him out of pain and helping him breathe, and that he is on some heavy medications. Straight trippin'.
At the moment he is not fully under... he is paralyzed, but aware and moving around a little bit. He has a fever, possibly associated with what they found to be the beginnings of infection on the wound on his butt. Nothing majorly dramatic, but just another facet of the process.
He is actually beginning to lift his left hand in a limp manner when he twitches. We thought that he might get the breathing tube out soon, but the pain medication he is on necessitates that they keep the tube in because the medication incapacitates his own ability to breathe. His lungs are still doing well, though.

I don't know how my parents are feeling, but I am overwhelmed by the prospect of the future. His recovery process, and where I fit into all that. As I have said before, I am learning what it really means to live in the moment. This moment. Right here in Jacob's room. Seeing this moment as God's Kingdom come, the promise of his Spirit, his presence, poured out on mankind through the death and life of Christ.
I am supposed to be down at college in LA August 5th. Even assuming that Jacob is doing well and stable by then, the idea of not being with Jacob during his recovery process kills me inside. Not to be there for him as a brother and a friend, rejoicing and mourning with him, helping him through emotional, physical and spiritual recovery. He has more than capable family and friends that could care for him without me... but he's my little brother. I want to show him that I drastically love and care for him. And I think that I need to be affirmed that he knows this.
But we will get to that bridge when we cross it... or something like that. I was thinking through this today, and there are so many unknowns about the future for my whole family. Which is why we live in this very moment, what this very hour holds. We embrace every opportunity, take whatever means necessary... because we have no idea what the future holds.

Generally speaking, I think that this is what the Kingdom of God is about... (by the way, "Kingdom" may carry negative connotations with it... it is a word I use to convey this idea of God's presence, his network, his very Love that permeates all things). Embracing the fact that the way of Christ is a revolutionary way to live compared to the standards of this world. It means loving no matter what the cost, even when people spit in our faces. It means that we don't live as if we need to "prepare," as if we need to read a certain point of growth, maturity, enlightenment or understanding before we are "ready," ready to live a certain way or "share our faith in a convincing way." It is not about convincing people to believe certain things. It is about introducing people to the Way that has changed your life, and is currently changing the world... through a love that is insane enough to descend into the very depths of hell and damnation simply to be with someone.
This is what Jesus proclaimed: the Kingdom of God is here, now, permeating everything... it is the promise of his presence, the promise of the Spirit, the very love and being of God, poured out on humankind.
The prophet Isaiah talks about this.

For the palace is forsaken,
the populous city deserted;
the hill and the watchtower
will become dens forever,
a joy of wild donkeys,
a pasture of flocks;
until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness,
quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32

This is a passage associated with the Jewish expectation of the days of Messiah, their redemption, the days of the Christ. Is it not mind-blowing to consider this as a promise that we now have fulfilled? And paradoxical to think that now, in this moment, this is fulfilled?
So what are we waiting for? Why do we not engage this promise that we now have? Or maybe no matter what we do, God somehow works out his Kingdom regardless of our plans, regardless of the boundaries that we like to manufacture upon his Kingdom, thus making our own little Kingdoms.
Maybe it should change how we pray. Instead of praying for God to simply take care of something in a miraculous way, leaving us out of it, maybe we should so desire the things that we pray for to take place that we are ourselves willing to do whatever it takes for it to happen. Why do I pray, God, change the hearts of those people, but I have never introduced myself to them? Never engaged them for who they are? Never even seen their hearts to find out if they need changing?
We as Christians encase ourselves in the ivory towers of our own Kingdoms, assuming that we have found an answer that nobody knows about, thus approaching all others as inferiors. That is the exact opposite of what God did by becoming man in Christ. He literally emptied himself. Considered himself lesser. Became one of us. Bore our burdens. This is what we are to do with others. We, who claim to be followers of Christ, are to consider ourselves less than the ones who we attempt to serve, to show Christ to. It is only at this point that we will truly love people, that we will see their hearts, they will see the others hearts, and Christ's heart will be manifested to all.
Again, the Kingdom of God is so huge. It is far beyond the boundaries that mankind produces for it, turns into a product and delivers to Christian-consumers who are conditioned to regurgitate phrases and terminology that have become devoid of meaning (ok, I'm ranting. I'll stop :).
The key to understanding is that we don't need to understand. St. Augustine puts this in a very confusing way:
But, "Thou art still the same," and all things of tomorrow, and all beyond, and all of yesterday, and all behind it, Thou hast done today. What is it to me, though any comprehend not this? Let him also rejoice, and say, "What thing is this?" Let him rejoice even thus; and be content rather by not discovering to discover Thee, than by discovering not to discover Thee."

Hope that makes sense.

aaaaahhhhhoooooooooooooowowwowowoow.............. Lord. So your Kingdom is here, right now, in the room with us and Jake. We can attempt to define how all these things with Jacob and our family are a part of the greater "plan" or "purpose" that God has, that good things will come out of it... and I don't doubt this. But that does not change the tragedy. The horror of what is happening. And God is weeping right along side us for Jake.
So, God, I don't attempt to understand. I embrace your mystery. And I embrace whatever you have for me. Tonight, tomorrow, whenever. Each moment devoted to you. Each moment a part of the journey.
Father, heal Jacob. I submit.

-Robbie


8 comments:

Mom of the boys said...

I have been reading about Jacob since the day I found the link on Connor's site. I read about him anxiously each day and want you to know our thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm not sure how old you are, Robbie, but your words seem to have great wisdom. I am glad your brother and your family has you.
-G Vaiana, Morgan Hill

Joslin3 said...

Robbie, It's so wonderful that you take the time to write and share what you guys are going through so that we can know and pray. When I think about you and Jacob, I think of you as the little bitty boys who shared the dorm with us and I remember the huge love you guys had for each other even then. I am praying constantly. I would love a mailing address for you guys when you get the time.
-Laura

Rebecca said...

Thank you for letting us know how things are going. It is wonderful to hear Jacob's lungs are holding their own. I am glad that you all are getting a little respite between big happenings so that you can recuperate. I know it will be a while before you can really feel rested, but I know that God is carrying you all and you will have what you need at the time you need it. I read your comments and it seems to be the dialog between intimate partners. Sometimes sharing excitement, or holding each other in fear and pain, and wresting vigorously when you don't understand each other. I am so glad that you have that relationship with God. Instead of lost in the darkness you are wedded to a lover who will not fail you. Father, we ask again that you watch over this family and especially Jacob. Be a barrier to anything that would disturb their peace. Give the family and the doctors creative insight into each minute of this healing process. Lord, as Jacob's great physician, remove any infection that tries to form, grow new skin where it is needed, heal the scorched areas, and give his body vitality equal to the repairs that are needed and to recover his strength. Comforter, envelope them all with your presence, power, and love. Give them faith and wisdom. You are with us, we know. Immanuel, for such a time as this.

Praying always.

Oz said...

Robbie --

Your dedication to your brother is amazing. Keep in mind, though, that healing often takes place in a return to normalcy. Not only, your healing but the emotional healing of your whole family.

While the decision will ultimately be yours and your folks, your return to school is also a signal to everyone's subconscious that a part of life does go on while at the same time another part comes to a screeching halt to focus on Jacob.

The other thing that a return to school will do for you is to give you a group of people to minister to now that you have a different perspective on life.

jacquie said...

Robbie thank you for the update on your brother. I can hear how much
you love him and he is lucky to have you. I think you said you are only
19, but your words of wisdom put you much older. I look forward to
your blogs which have given me much encouragement in my own life.
We will continue to pray for Jacob and all of you. God be with you.
Mom of three boys

californiakelleys said...

We as Christians encase ourselves in the ivory towers of our own Kingdoms, assuming that we have found an answer that nobody knows about, thus approaching all others as inferiors. That is the exact opposite of what God did by becoming man in Christ. He literally emptied himself. Considered himself lesser. Became one of us. Bore our burdens. This is what we are to do with others. We, who claim to be followers of Christ, are to consider ourselves less than the ones who we attempt to serve, to show Christ to. It is only at this point that we will truly love people, that we will see their hearts, they will see the others hearts, and Christ's heart will be manifested to all.

Robbie, Thank you for this reminder and insightful way we, as followers of Christ, need to live our lives. Your blogs are thoughtprovoking, deep and, I believe, will minister to people beyond your wildest imagination. Camping in God's Truth will keep you grounded. You and your family are loved. I think of you all and pray for you many times a day. May our Lord Jesus continue to be near you.

Love, Kim

Debbie said...

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Robbie,

I agree with the others, in reading your blogs and talking with you, it is clear that you have wisdom and insight beyond your years...I believe it is partly due to your gifting..."how you were made", but also largely due to the fact that you "have eyes to see and ears to hear" all that the Lord is showing you. I look forward to others (myself included) gleaning from the simple yet profound truths that God is imprinting deep within your heart.

The things of the Kingdom can be like seeing in a mirror dimly, but WOW, when the lights get turned on, or the veil is removed and we get even the slightest glimpse of the goodness of God and His mercies, it is very humbling and awakens us to action.

Our family adores you and will continue to rejoice when you rejoice, weep when you weep, stand firm in faith with you, pray diligently and believe we will see the goodness of God today for dear Jacob!

eternity driven said...

I continue to check in daily on the progress of your brother Jacob. My heart just aches for all of you, but I love the wisdom and the heart you have for Jesus. I don't know you or your family personally, but was asked to pray for you all and linked to this blog on the day of (or perhaps after) the accident. I'm praying for peace and healing and for God's perfect will to be done. Your words inspire and encourage me and I thank God for the gift he has given you to share them!!
Kelly ~ in Marina