Boxes stuffed with letters line closet shelves; photos surround me when arms cannot. They are so precious, these little souls, cast from Emmanuel's image and walking, living, running along the crust of earth. But all the little heads outgrow kisses I've planted. Time snatches youth and etches years into face. Hearts shift, thoughts change.
"Why are you doing this?" asks fear. Anger. Uncertainty. They lash out, indignant, afraid.
The most painful place of all lifts broken eyes to hills. There is only one answer, really. "Because He said."
Because He said.
This holy tragedy
"When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die."
In his book "The Cost of Discipleship", so writes one of my favorite martyrs, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A preacher and theologian executed for resistance against National Socialism, his prison writings and books linger still, preaching grace and the calling of God ~ a calling which consumes all, a great, refining, jealous fire.
It is the calling of the cross.
How do I respond? I wring my hands with tears. Obedience hurts. It breaks hearts; it divides. It endures accusation, misunderstanding, exile. Sometimes it kills. It willingly bears torture in faith that better things will come. Obedience requires us to wait in the pain and darkness, to weep and ache with the unknown while feet tread the faithful, steady path carved for us on Golgotha.
We ought to obey God, rather than men. Even when He hands us the crucifix and bids us Come.
And so we come, and die.
to be continued . . .