Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wake Up/Rest

(Some pictures of Jake and I that I love):

I woke early this morning with the urgency to pray that my parents would remain asleep, especially my mom. Last night all four of us (Jensen, my parents and I) prayed on the hotel bed together. Was not profound, was not deep, was not awe-inspiring - we were all beat down and reduced to laying before the throne of God. All I could think about the whole time was how we were missing someone. How our family was incomplete. Shattered.
As we pray for prayers of rest for ourselves, I can't help bu want to pray for the opposite for Jake, because he has to fight a battle in order to wake up. I think if one of the nurses had his way, he would just tie Jacob down, take all the medications off and yank the breathing tube out. But then the lung doctors tell them that this could still endanger the lungs.
But there is progress. He is completely off one more of the drugs as of yesterday. We will see what today holds in a few hours. I am sure my mom will be awake soon, but am hoping that my prayers hold her down longer to sleep in a little today. If any of you read this immediately, please do the same. The other day all I could think about is how I want to physically hug him. Hear him say to me "I love you, bro" after we talked on the phone while I was at college. When, God?

Something I just said above I would like to expound on: "Last night all four of us (Jensen, my parents and I) prayed on the hotel bed together. Was not profound, was not deep, was not awe-inspiring - we were all beat down and reduced to laying before the throne of God."

I can reiterate the idea of redemption coming in brokenness; exaltation through humiliation; the hour of our deepest sorrow and sin being the very hour of our visitation; I can try to describe this to you as much as I want, but it means absolutely nothing until it is experienced. Before all of this happened, this was actually one of my favorite topics in my personal study and discovery - brokenness. Not necessarily a timeline of "brokenness, and THEN restoration," thus effectively making Christ's promises say "just wait for the good ending." But I was exploring the idea of "restoration IN brokenness...." the promises of Christ being fulfilled in our darkest moments, being realized here and now. Because redemption really was brought in the most horrendous of situations - the God of the Universe being reduced to the depths of sin and failure. I was seeing this type of thinking all over the place... in authors I like to read, in my own personal thoughts, in stories from other people... and most of all in the teachings of Jesus, in my long and grueling (and on-going!) reading of the book of Revelation, and most recently (currently) in the prophecies of Isaiah.
All this to say, it means nothing. It means nothing to say that you understand something, to be able to put it in words, but to not actually exist in that reality or know who God is in the midst of all that speculation, skepticism and intellectual pursuit. I would throw it all out in a heartbeat if it meant being with God in the capacity that I am with him now.
Because what is the point of the Bible? To study it, disect it, quantify it, systematize and suck out every "truth nugget," every verifiably correct statement within it? Or to be acquainted with the true Word above all other words, who is God made man, to fall into the swirling flood of the story of the love of God?
And what is the point of prayer? To elevate oneself to a periodic ecstasy of spirituality and ask God for things? To preface with "Dear God..." and end with "amen," and have everything in between be a deep and complex string of words meant to create some sort of emotional stir? Or to be in communion with God, which is ongoing?

We don't have to understand... we have to embark on the journey, embrace mystery and paradox and love.

Nowhere does Christ say "unless you believe all the right things and get your act together, you don't get to be with me." I will say it again: he is already with us! He came to us! If anything, Christ came for the doubters, the spiritually incompetent, the "lowly" irreligious.
What does Christ actually say about following him?

...any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Renounce all that he has... can I really even comprehend the scope of that?! ALL?! Including my preconceptions of "Christianity," including my spiritual thoughts, including my lofty intellectual claims... even including the thoughts contained in this blog right here and now...??!!! What the heck, God? You mean even all these things that we glorify as pertaining to you and following you, maybe even those should be discarded so that we can follow you better?
I think it is EXTREMELY important in our respective and communal journies to periodically, maybe even frequently, STOP, reevaluate and start from ground zero. Having the courage to admit, "I don't know a thing." Having the strength to REST in him, and not trust in our own ambitions to continue on in the journey.
I am in one of those places now. It is a huge relief. And it is frightening me out of my mind. Because there is an unimaginable God out there who at one point became like me because he loves me.

Oh, our Father, you know our cries, you know our words before we utter them. It is now almost 6 AM and my mom is still asleep. I praise you for that. Keep those vigil that must be alert, and keep those restful that are down in the dirt (hey thats a neat little rhyme).

Listening to: Heavy Hearted - the Glorious Unseen

What is the meaning of grace,
When it speaks to my darkest place?
Why do I always feel like I'm your disgrace?
I'm sick of saving face.
And when I feel so heavy hearted,
I know you're taking me back

And when you take me as I am
It's like the sunlight gracing the land!
And when I feel heavy hearted, please come and take my hand
Heavy hearted again... but so close to you.


Bob Duffy said...

We continue to lift up Jacob and you're entire family to the throne of God, begging for mercy, healing and grace.
Robbie and Tom, thanks for all your inspiring words (including those from the heart of Jabob's Mom). We have seen the face and come to feel the heart of God in totally new ways.
Still praying without ceasing,
-the Duffys

Joy said...

Robbie, thank you for your insights. I thank God every day that you are there with your folks through this and are capable and willing to share your insights at such a deep level. You are indead a remarkable young man. Squeeze your Dad for me and give you Mom my love.