Many of you know that my sweet father-in-law is in the final stage of his life. Eric has gone to be with him and we will join them soon. The time is just so precious. But isn’t it always and we just don’t know it? I want more moments to enjoy the hilarious stories that my father in law would tell, more moments to hear him talk about his childhood, more moments to see his handy work, more moments to listen to his favorite music with him, more moments for his grandchildren to snuggle in his lap, more moments to sit across the table with him and enjoy a meal.
Our souls scream out that this life is just not enough of the lovely that we want. This life is too short to contain our desire for family time and conversation. These moments on earth are too hindered by the unnecessary, the immediate, and the mandatory to fully enjoy the people that we want to enjoy. We scream out that we were made for eternity.
Eric is sitting with him tonight in the hospital- His daddy is asleep and being made comfortable. I imagine Eric talking to him- (one sided conversations), reading God’s precious promises to him, singing to him, talking about cars, sharing how Indianola is going, laughing about times in the past, and staring at him- wanting to memorize his face- his hands- his space.
Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our life. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And, in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness….But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched with a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy no one shall take away from us. Henri J. M. Nouwen