Nathan sat with his head in his hands at the foot of his mother's hospital bed. His dad sat in a chair beside it, holding her hand. The heart monitor beeped over them.
What if she died? Nathan felt like he was teetering at the edge of a cliff. He had never been very close with his dad, and he had no one else. And the other middle schoolers already looked at him weird because they knew his mom was sick; it would only get more awkward if she died. He didn't want to go back to school either, but what else did he have?
Finally his dad sniffed and Nathan heard him sit up straight, as if finishing a prayer or gathering some new amount of courage.
"Nathan, come here, big guy."
Nathan scooted his chair over to his dad's, keeping a very unsure eye on him.
His dad put his other hand on Nathan's forearm, took a deep breath and said, "I know I've always let mom give my love to you for me. But if we lose her. . ." he carefully chose his next words, "I want to go on a journey with you."
Nathan's heart grew large as a long forsaken hope awakened in him.
"It will be hard without her, but I will be close. Let's leave all the people here and whatever they think of us and let's just be for each other. I want to find high bridges to cross together. I want to build fires in the woods with you and fall asleep telling stories about your mom. Let's explore this big world for as long as we want, just you and me. I don't know if we can make it without each other. And it's time for you to know my love for you, my son, directly from me."
Sometimes someone is taken away from us, whether it be through death, a fissure in a family, a wayward child, a divorce, or a broken friendship. And that person was so important that we feel like the grief will bring our world to an end.
But there is one who is offering to meet you there. In my experience it doesn't take away the pain, but you experience a new type of closeness that we've forgotten that we long for, and are made for, with our ancient father. Our desperation is what draws us to lean into Him. And He just holds us and shows us new dimensions of himself, the one our soul was meant to rest with all along.
Raw Spoon, 11-18-2020