The first day of my sabbatical was the last day of my son's life. Writing that sentence is still strange. I struggle to believe it's true. But it is. I created my sabbatical plans months in advance. But my plan did not match God's plan.
I don't want to think about the flood of emotions that will bombard me on his birthday. I don't want to envision Kaleigh (10) and Kyra's (6) weddings and try to imagine the glaring absence of Kaleb's presence. Those things - Lord willing - will happen one day. But we don't need grace for sadness fifteen years from now. We need grace for today's.
I planted the TJC over twelve years ago. I am the Lead Pastor. I am the chief vision caster. I spearhead the staff. I am the first among equals with our elders. I am invaluable, and the church is in trouble without me, right?
This verse rings of happiness. I imagine it being recited by a family of smiling faces diving into a big meal. I see a church worship gathering beginning to sing praise songs and someone exhorting them with this verse. I see a man or woman repeating it to themselves as they gleefully walk into the new job they've been wanting . The passage sounds peppy. It feels lighthearted.
I woke up at 4am Saturday after a few hours of off-and-on sleep. My bed is a chair that pulls out into cot just feet behind my son's hospital bed. As I laid there, my thoughts raced. Here is my son, unconscious and unable to respond to us, receiving treatment for fungal meningitis. Is he going to beat this infection?