Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Hope that Lies in You

This is Robbie writing from my bedroom at home, up in Santa Cruz for the weekend.
I hung out with Jacob for a few hours yesterday. It is astounding the steps that he has taken in the last weeks since I've seen him. He is responsive, aware and at least semi-conscious of the people in the room, although he is still not fully processing the situation. But he is recognizing love. He is recognizing the hope we have for him. Sometimes that comes out in different ways (i.e. he'll throw a pillow across the room, shove us away... he really wants to get out of the bed). But the best way he has shown his recognition to me was the hug that he gave me. I could not help but let the tears come when he limply but firmly, while I was in his face saying hello and that I was up from Biola for the weekend, put his left hand around my neck and pulled my head down right next to his. He held me there until he became too tired to continue, and his hand weakly fell off of my neck. I then had the joy of helping three therapists sit him up and make a few attempts at standing him up. He is getting there... he responds to commands off and on, and has strength. His fevers are staying below 100. He knows we are there. He wants us close to him, but he also wants to just run out of the doors of his room. The hardest part is when he shows anguish on his face. Hang in there, Jakey... your day will come. The day you walk out of the hospital will be a national holiday to us, "The Day of Jacob."

There is hope. It is in us. It is in the smiles of the nurses that I see who are finding joy in their work with Jacob and love him. It see it in the faces of those who are loving and supporting us. I see it in the utter care of his loving nurses. Hope is found in this community, in this Body. It is where God's presence is resting on us. I think we tend to say that hope means that "everything will be ok." Well, a lot of times everything is not ok. What about those body bags that are wheeled out of hospital rooms? When we say that hope means "everything will be ok," I think that what we are really saying is that we should try and not feel the despair, shame, and horror and that we should feel happy all the time. THIS IS NOT HOPE. This is denying ourselves the pain and grief that we must work THROUGH, and it denies us the ability to be broken before God, so that he may work. Hope means something closer to this: even at your darkest hour, even in the depths of despair, when you are in the pit of hell, YOU ARE STILL LOVED. Therein lies hope. In the very moment of our brokenness, we still have acceptance, we still have God fervently calling out to us. And, if we fully understand the message of Christ and what he did for us, then we will see that actually, in our darkest hour, Christ is standing there right next to us. In a song I wrote the other day I termed it this way:

"You fall down
From the endless stars
To dive into
My bleeding heart
You lie next to me
In the filth and mud
And now I know the one true love."

This is especially relevant in the burn unit. Even after victims are healed, their scars remain. Forever. Many are scared to go outside, to let their distorted looks be seen. Yes they are healed... but is everything ok? Did everything turn out good and happy? Sadly, I think we tell them "no..." But the true message of hope, is that even in this place of unacceptance, of fear and insecurity, they are STILL LOVED. Hopefully not just by God, but by all of us as well.

This is a prayer I wrote for Jake the other day:

"Lord, your servant Jacob is lost. In your furious love, tear through the clouds, open up the heavens, and bring your presence down. Tear through the medication, tear through his disoriented coma, break through his wounds, sneak by his grief, and settle your hope and love deep in his soul. May he emerge renewed, redeemed, restored in who he is... because the major recovery will not be physical. "

-Robbie (brother)

disclamier: the title of this blog is taken from the album title of the artist "The Glorious Unseen." They are coming out with a new album August 25th. They are AWESOME.


Tom Kirkendall said...

Tears in my eyes - so very thankful - Robbie lives in Hope - literally - that is the name of his dorm at Biola. He also at 7 years old he named his dog Hope. Hope is strengthend. Oh Lord help us to bring your hope today to those that we meet.

Laura Smith said...

You are wise beyond your years, dear Robbie. May God bless you and all those you love with an untouchable, undying HOPE.

shanna said...

As you guys talk, I think back to Tara & Josh and her horrible accident. I think of all the prayers and then the length of time it took her to become herself again. God does do miracles...just in his time!

Diane E. Main, GCT NorCal 2006 said...

Robbie, I don't know you, but I have been following and hoping along with your family in the last few weeks. What you wrote about Jake hugging you brought tears to my eyes, too. We don't really know what's going on in there, but he knew it was you, and he wanted to express his love for you.

What you wrote is beautiful. Sometimes it takes experiences like this to have our best come out and be displayed for all to see, maybe because we're so raw from what all is happening to us, and we don't go through the silly dance required to hide our inside feelings from the world.

Susie Boggs said...

Wow, you are a beautiful writer. You speak very well from your heart and it is obvious how much you love your brother.
I grew up across the street from your dad, and even though I haven't seen him in years and years (since high school?)your family has been on my mind daily. I wake up saying a little prayer that Jacob will have a good day, and I look forward to reading the blog to see how his day went.
I was also in tears when reading about the hug Jacob gave you : ) His accident and situation is so overwhelming, I can't even imagine, but I think he is truly the lucky one to have so much love surrounding him.
You are a beautiful brother :)

Anonymous said...

Robbie, you are, indeed, wise beyond your years. I am continually amazed at the insights God has given you throughout this situation.

I, too, am thrilled to hear that Jake recognized you and gave you a hug. What an awesome milestone! I trust you will get to personally experience more and more of these milestones, even while you're continuing your education.

Still praying, and eagerly awaiting your next post.

A. Christine said...

I echo what Laura said, Robbie - you are wise beyond your years! It is so refreshing to hear your description of hope. You bless others you don't even know with your writing! May your hope continue to blossom and grow as Jesus carries you and your family through this valley...I have deep respect for you.

Anonymous said...

Robbie, Once again, I love to see your heart through your writing. I was totally ministered to through your "teaching" on hope in this blog. And I'm so excited for the hug you got from Jacob!! What a gift to come home to! He probably needed it as much as you did! We love you Robbie! And, we'll never stop our prayers for you and your family. Enjoy your moments home.
Jess Travis

Victoria said...

Rec'd this email request to post from Carol:

Hi Robbie,
The insights that God gives you are amazing to say the least. Glad you were able to come home for the weekend, be with your family and spend some time with Jacob. That's so neat that Jacob gave you a hug. I could see how that would make you cry. I'm sure you didn't think that would happen for awhile, but God gave you a gift in that moment. WOW!!!! God is so amazing! Yes, indeed it will be one happy day for all of you when Jacob can walk out of that burn unit and go home to do the rest of his journey. May God continue to give you wisdom, help you with school this year and allow you to come home now and then to see what He has done in Jacob.
Blessings, Carol