I snapped this picture moments after Jesse sat upright in the ER and scooted to the end of the bed in an attempt to stand, feisty from the medications he was given to stop the seizures. I stared at it awhile, perplexed by the vibrant colors of the photograph. That’s when I realized it’s a black and white moment in my memory. Faded, blurry, fused together with him on the ground at the church, spasming in the ambulance with the oxygen mask on his face as a team worked to keep his body safe, staring motionless in the hospital bed, no life in his blue eyes nor movement from his body, hooked up to machines, barely breathing.
It was seconds after this that the violent coughing and vomiting began. Everything goes technicolor from that moment on, the world splashed with hues so vibrant it’s hard to look at it without squinting.
I find lament to be this way. Face in the earth pleading reprieve so often that the dirt in my eyes makes everything go muted for a while. Then the tears come and the grit washes away and I can see all the life pulsing around and inside of me.
I don’t know what it all means, really. I don’t believe I ever will. That’s okay. I don’t have to understand to know the black and white and the colorful moments are equally important, equally held by God, as am I.
I find the longer I live in lament, the more I see it as a gift from God. To be vulnerable and broken, devoid of all strength and hope, sleepless and sleepy, choking on the sorrow and fear and still be loved, still feel held. That is a gift. Grief is a gift. Lament-a love letter to the lost and longing from God Himself.
-May 14, 2019
*This one is from Saturday, May 11. I’m including it here for the sake of efficiency.*
These words spoken on Sunday morning. Sorrow-wrecking, Hallelujah words. Words which flowed from his own lips with no knowledge of what was to come.
Take the 1 minute and 17 second pause in your day to watch this, remembering all the while that the same man who spoke these words on Sunday had a series of life-threatening seizures on Wednesday, and is walking around his home on Saturday, laughing with his kids, living his life, still saying the same thing as always: His grace is sufficient for me.
-The day has been uneventful. A welcome lull in anything excitable. Jesse is improving, though the reality and the grief of it all are heavy, and the medications he’s taking amplify every emotion. He is still having some very mild seizures, nothing truly worrisome. He’s had this type for years. Though I can tell you there is a sense of panic in the air when they occur now that did not exist before. Heart rates are high and bodies frozen still with anticipation of what might happen each time. The waiting and wondering. It has always been the hardest part, the surrendering of the sensation of control. Pray with us, will you? For medications to take effect without side effect, for seizures to cease entirely, and for peace to continue to reign in our people.