Wednesday, July 1, 2009

No man is an island

I'm not sure where to begin. I want to give somewhat of a spiritual update on what is going through my head, because I feel like that is part of my role throughout this whole ordeal. That is the function that God will use this lowly vessel that I call "myself" for.

I feel selfish for making it about the feelings that I am having, and not about Jacob. But I like how Charlie Broxton put it: "This is about all of us."

I am astounded at what God has been doing in the community, in his body. People from across the world are bonding together to pray and show their love. It is truly overwhelming. I know that there are people whom I haven't even talked to who are somehow invested in this whole process, who are apart of this movement to rally around Jacob and his whole process - supporting him and each other as we all go through this Journey together.
This is what the "church" is supposed to be. It is sad that it takes an event of this enormity to make us actually engage that, but maybe that is the whole point - God allows trauma for the sake of the growth of his Kingdom. The Church is an amoebic movement of people who are motivated by love; it is so far from being a place that you go on Sunday mornings, where you sing songs and pretend that pain doesn't exist because "God is good." The Church is this network that we are experiencing, this bonding of people, this outpouring of love and affection, people uniting because of the far greater Love who allowed himself to be hung on a cross and damned simply because we all insisted on our own way. This has been my greatest source of encouragement: not the words said or the help given, but how all of you have gathered together to support Jacob, his family, and each other in this time. Even if you have never considered yourself a "Christian," or don't consider yourself "religious" (what do those phrases even mean now, anyway?), you can't help but be integrated into this Body, because you are coming with one motivation: love. And God is love.
The love of God is dangerous. It is furious. He loves us enough to break us away from evil, to break our hearts from having fallen in love with this world, so that we can fall in love with him. That is the dangerous part of his love - he will pour out his purifying fire on us, and in his love will break our hearts where it needs to be.
I have a specific prayer request. That God would take from us (Jacob, my family, + all of you) what is necessary for his Kingdom to come more fully, for his presence to be felt closer. My only fervent request, that I have been begging of God, is that this would not include taking Jacob's life, or his livelihood. How I long to see him surfing, biking, and laughing with friends again, and how I long to be able to wrestle with him and beat him up again. I am pleading, face down, in the throne room of God.
I am freaking pissed at God. Some people have tried to encourage me by saying how much they appreciate that I am not blaming God through all of this. My immediate response was "Well of course I blame Him! He wants all the credit, so he gets it! He's supposed to be in control, right?" (I don't mean to sound harsh, I know you meant well :). But I trust him. I have never felt his presence deeper than I do right now. Which sucks, because I have also never been in more pain. O, great paradox, O sweet irony, that our moments of deepest brokenness are the very hours of our visitation. That was the great paradox of the cross. How insane is this: The God of the Universe died a human death. Yet out of that came his presence, the promised outpouring of his Spirit, like never before. And, how insane is this: "King of the heavens; you're my closest friend."

If we haven't started to understand that God is impossible to understand, then I don't think we really know who he is at all. I love The Confessions of St. Augustine, because he constantly takes the box, formulas and theologies off of God:

"And how shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord, since, when I call for him, I shall be calling him to myself? and what room is there within me, whither my God can come into me? Whither can God come into me, God who made heaven and earth? Is there indeed, O Lord my God, aught in me that can contain thee? Do then heaven and earth, which Thou hast made, and wherein Thou hast made me, contain Thee? or, becasue nothing which exists could exist without Thee, doth therefore whatever exists contain thee? Since, then, I too exist, why do I seek that Thou shouldest enter into me, who were not, wert thou in me? Why? Because I am not gone down in hell and yet Thou art there also. For "if I go down into hell, Thou art there." I could not be then, could not be at all, wert Thou not in me; or, rather, unless I were in Thee, of Whom are all things by whom are all things, in whom are all things? Even so, Lord, even so. Whither do I call Thee, since I am in Thee? or whence canst Thou enter into me? For whither can I go beyond heaven and earth, that thence my God should come into me, Who hath said "I fill the heaven and the earth?"

O, merciful Father, enter into Jacob and his broken existence. Be present. Grant him the courage to stand before your presence in his sleeping and waking. The filthy red cross has conquered his fear. Shine your light of love, your Son, on Jacob, who is held up by this blessed network of those who love.

I just got word from my mom that Jacob is in a bit of a more serious condition. The doctors are concerned about his lungs, and the oxygen not getting to his body properly. They have been cleaning out his lungs all day, and are not sure exactly why he is having these issues. It could be that the lungs just need to flush out burned tissue. Here we come to a dip in the roller coaster. Your prayers are desperately needed. It looks like the surgery on his arm scheduled for tomorrow morning will not happen because of this condition. I am going to be with Jacob. I love you all.



Stephen Kazim said...

Rob I know we havent met, but I just wanted to let you know I find your strength in Him completely amazing. I dont know what I would do if something like this happened to someone I love. I feel honored to be able to pray for such a strong man of God that Jacob is, and for such inspiring family. Please let me know if there is something else I can do or pray for.

Yours in Christ,
Stephen Kazim

Diana said...

Robbie, I am amazed at the depth of insight you have as such a young man. In many ways you are reminding me of Job. He had every (human) right to be angry with God - and he was. However, through that anger, he did not deny God. God knows everything you are feeling now, and it comes as no surprise to Him when you mad at Him or blame Him.
You may not remember me well, if at all, but I remember all three of you boys very well. You were just much, much younger! I love your mom and dad very much, and I am so sorry that so much has been going on in your family over the past couple years. Know that I am praying for all of you through this time.

robin said...

robbie i haven't met you yet, our son Christopher introduced Jacob to us,we liked him right away. We had our house burn down last june, august my husband lost his job, and the hits of things effected kept coming. I have been plenty mad at God. At times all I knew was to keep breathing. We Teague's stand in prayer with you and your family.

Jessica H. said...

Its a weird thing. i know its normal to care an to feel sympathy when another is in pain, its just weird cuz i havn't seen jacob in over 3 years now. this thing inside of me, wether it be god, nature, or just the innner working of the min, draws me to do whatever i can, yet i can do nothing. the obvious reasn is because i am disconnected from his life now, yet this reason is made harder with the stauts of my faith. i think of him on and off in the day yet i feel that is not enough. i want the power of a miracle doctor inside of me or just anyone to heal him.
i know its weird, but jacobs story has made me think about my own faith. it sounds so selfish to me, but it true. who can be the miracle doctor? who can truly heal him? something no human can provide. god. he can, and has been, healing him, as well as my cold, hard heart.
i think of jacob and pray genuinly for him. he has given me the power the look deep inside of my self, and now i want to give this power to him. to heal his body. please lord, give jacob a miracle, like his story has given me. the power to believe in something much bigger than myself.

i hope this dosent sound weird or veage or something. it was on my heart and i wanted to share it with you. jacob has kinda healed me in a weir round bout' way. now i want that healing power for jacob. the lords hand is on him. ty robbie for writing this. the love of your family, and the love you deeply share with god inspires others, its truly amazing.

Msbutterfliy said...

Mr. Robbie Dad, dont be pissed at God. He will only provide (good and bad) what we can handle and somewhere in all of this, the someone He has intended this for, is to learn the lesson he has provided. If its you, then you are learning to be closer to Him. Your wife perhaps, closer to you! I have been praying non stop for your family and believe everything will be in peace. God wouldnt have given us emotions if we werent to experience them. No rationalizing involved. My thoughts, heart, an prayers are with you.

eternity driven said...

My heart is aching for your family right now. I have never met any of you. A friend of mine is a connection of your family's. Robbie, your writing is beautiful and real and honest. I so appreciate your vulnerablility and your precious heart for God and your loved ones. I just wanted you to know that yet another sister in Christ is praying. I'm believing God here.
Marina, CA

Bob said...

Just want you to know that we are praying for you and your family.
Montgomery, Alabama