Last week, my amazing sister Gwenn blogged about some difficult experiences they are facing as they walk the lives of missionaries in Haiti. In discussing these struggles, and referring to the broken state of our world, she stated, "the fall is still falling". Maybe that's something Christians say all the time, but I had never heard it that way before. It resonated with me. The curse, spoken thousands of years ago, to people I have never met, is still unfolding-- trickling down and puddling at my feet.
The fall is still falling.
This past week, there were some heartbreaking stories on our local news station. On Monday afternoon, five teenagers were killed in a devastating car accident. The following day, our community again caught it's breath when we learned that three more children-- 16 year old twins and their nine year old sister-- were killed in another vehicle crash.
The fall is still falling.
I understand the doctrine of a fallen world; I have read (and reread) the curse spoken to Adam and Eve. I can imagine the grief of a holy God, whose justice required Him to banish the ones he loved most. I get it, I think, theologically-- working the ground, pain in childbirth, our husbands will rule over us. And I can even accept the inevitability of death, probably because I know the end of the story--there is a victor over the curse; through the "second Adam", there is redemption.
But I will never understand the death of a child.
Now hear me, this is not a charge against God. I am not accusing Him of not being good, of not being compassionate, of not being just. Surely, our idea of justice must be childishly laughable to a God whose very essence is holiness. I know that I see but dimly; my very highest thoughts are not His.
But oh, I think of those mamas. Six women who will never face another day without an aching weight in their chest. I hold my babies and think of the ones who cannot. The ones who will never, ever be "ok" again. And oh, my heart longs for heaven. When every wrong will be made right.
But until then, the fall is still falling.
During Advent, we've been reading about the prophesy of a Savior. I've been teaching the girls the lyrics to "O Come O Come Emmanuel".
O Come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
For now, as we muddle through life and grapple with grief and the ins and outs of the human existence, I trust that we are never forsaken... that our circumstances are filtered through the hand of a loving God... that they are specifically designed--by God, for us-- so that He might be glorified. But how I long for my spirit to be cheered by the advent of Christ. I long for the day when He disperses the gloomy clouds of night, when death is robbed of it's sting and victory.
Emmanuel--- God with us.