"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Monday, February 20, 2017
Life After Death
Photo image courtesy of Pixabay.com
The Circle of Life. We think baby Simba and hear the Disney song, but the reality is much closer than it would appear at first. Aside from our obvious interaction with death in lost loved ones, we face death daily. We live our lives, stumbling upon dead hobbies, relationships, dreams, careers ... the list is endless. Some of these dead things is like the out of style psychedelic shirt that no longer fits. That's ok and good riddance. We moved on the new look, on the better version of ourselves. Sometimes, though, like with loved ones, these deaths are hard. Crucial parts of ourselves that get lost leave us unable to figure out who we are.
As parents of special children, so much of our new identity can be wrapped up in our role as caregiver, advocate, therapist, teacher, nurses our children. Each aspect of the role needs validation, and often, that does not come from our child, or even our families. Our recent struggle with sleep, OCD, oppositional behavior has challenged much of my identity related to those roles, and, when I'm honest, it has threatened the hope that was re-birthed with some glimmers of progress that we saw 6 months ago. Actually, the hope, based on glimmers, has died. In this moment, the evidence of progress is hard to see without the eyes of faith. And some days, I need special glasses.
That must be what happened to Mary. Her Lord was dead. Along with all the evidence of his existence (John 20:11-18).
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.“Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
Who knows what causes this blindness. Stress? Excess of realism? Depression? Whatever the case, when the evidence is plainly available, she doesn't recognize it. Perhaps the form of the evidence doesn't match up with her internal compass.
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
So her eyes weren't working well, and maybe her ears were affected too. But then Jesus said her name.
“Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
And she recognized him.
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
When she heard the Resurrection and the Life call her name, believing in resurrection became easier. Jesus died. She knew this as a fact. But he was alive again. This she also now knew. Because she could see Him.
Alive Because He Said So
Sometimes things die to create space for the Resurrection that God brings. Sometimes the resurrection isn't in a form that we recognize, but like Mary, when we hear Him call our name, we will recognize Life, and see it coursing through everything He touches, including our very special children. And nobody, not teachers, doctors, parents, not even you, can call something dead, that the Resurrection and Life has declared to be alive.
Dear Lord, Thank you that you are the Resurrection and Life. Please heal our eyes and help us to see your life at work in all that concerns us today.