Good Friday always seems like a sad-happy day. I can only imagine the emotions Jesus' mother, Mary, might have been going through that day. She had to be filled with grief! And yet, perhaps, there was hope. She knew better than anyone how her baby came to be within her and had to have the greatest hope for his resurrection. If any human was truly certain that Jesus was God's Son, it had to be Mary.
This week has been filled with much joy and many challenges here for our family. For example, on Wednesday, as C prepared a passover meal to be served to sixty teenagers in our church youth group with worship and explanations done by the youth pastor (I hear it was amazing, by the way), I was running the batteries down on my cell phone faster than most days. A family we hold very dear was falling apart at the seams.
This family has gone through many trials over the past decade and we have always held onto the hope that the Lord would sustain them. Even still, I have not given up hope for them!! Nothing is impossible through Christ. I mean, He rose from the dead. So certainly, a little family hardship -- even a lot of family hardship -- isn't an obstacle to make Him flinch.
Meanwhile, this family's father has been sick for some time. He is losing the battle against his illness. And now it seems, he's giving up the fight. In an effort to, somehow, be less of a burden on his family, he is going away to deal with his pain privately. While the mother of the family understands his fears, she doesn't understand his rationale. And the children in this family are completely confused and feeling abandoned.
I was really anxious about the family on Wednesday while hearing play-by-play commentary from members of the family (via text messages) and finally, while teaching J and O, I burst into tears. It was all I could do because my heart was literally breaking in my chest for these people. Especially for the children.
J asked me why I was crying and sad.
I told her that the children of this family were feeling very sad because their dad was going away for awhile and they weren't going to be seeing him.
I asked her, "How would you feel if your dad left?"
She pondered it for a moment and said, "My dad did leave. But then, I got a new and better dad!"
This made me sob even more because sometimes her insight and perspective are just timed so perfectly. Of course, J's birth father did not stick around to even see her beautiful face when she was born. He left her while her mother was pregnant. No matter how hard her birth mother tried, she was unable to adequately care for J and therefore, the door opened for C and I to adopt her. And C, well, he is an awesome dad. And he and J are just so close! I can't imagine her with any other daddy.
But the thing is, all hope is not lost for this family we care so much about. God is still very much in control. And whether or not the father of this family returns and tries harder to face things as part of a team, those kids are not fatherless. They have a better daddy taking care of them every single day: Abba Father. Father to the fatherless. No one is a more perfect dad than He.