“Hello, my friend!”, I hear him say warmly to a passerby I don’t recognize. If you’ve ever met him, it’s likely you’ve been greeted with these words and his familiar, red-bearded grin. Jesse hasn’t changed much. If anything, he’s more him than he’s ever been. He’s a real, undistracted version of himself who moves fluidly from person to person, shaking hands with and hugging the many people he’s met since we came to this temporary home. When I’m watching him, I think frequently about a moment in C.S. Lewis’ “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” when Lucy, having been reading spells from a Magician’s book, and having bypassed a spell that would make her the most beautiful person in the world and instead fulfilling her given task to speak a spell to make things visible, is waiting for something to happen in response to saying the visible spell out loud. Then this happens:
“At that moment she heard soft, heavy footfalls coming along the corridor behind her; and of course she remembered what she had been told about the Magician walking in his bare feet and making no more noise than a cat. It is always better to turn round than to have anything creeping up behind your back. Lucy did so.
Then her face lit up till, for a moment (but of course she didn’t know it), she looked almost as beautiful as that other Lucy in the picture, and she ran forward with a little cry of delight and with her arms stretched out. For what stood in the doorway was Aslan himself, The Lion, the highest of all High Kings. And he was solid and real and warm and he let her kiss him and bury herself in his shining mane. And from the low, earthquake-like sound that came from inside him, Lucy even dared to think that he was purring.
‘Oh, Aslan,’ said she, ‘it was kind of you to come.’
‘I have been here all the time,’ said he, ‘but you have just made me visible.’
‘Aslan!’ said Lucy almost a little reproachfully.
‘Don’t make fun of me. As if anything I could do would make you visible!’
‘It did,’ said Aslan.”
Like Lucy turning to face the unknown before her, Jesse has turned to face the oncoming trial, running full force toward God with open arms without any hesitations, content to walk this path because Christ is so near. He is walking willingly through this, excitedly even, looking into every darkened corner for Jesus, always elated when He shows Himself. He is marveling at the goodness of a God who would love him enough to use him and thanking Him for showing Himself to us in tangible ways. The Lord’s grace is being made visible by a brain tumor, and it is a beautiful sight to behold.
I encourage you, dearest, to look at the circumstances of your life and ask God to make Himself known to you, to strip away the false sense of control you feel and surrender to whatever He has for you. He is fully capable of taking the wreckage of your life and rebuilding it into something lovely beyond all expectation. Use whatever you have been entrusted with to make Christ visible to the ravaged and weary around you. Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your suffering.
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:5-6