"Power, success, happiness as the world knows them, are his who will fight for them hard enough; but peace, love, joy, are only from God. And God is the enemy whom Jacob fought there by the river, of course, and whom in one way or another we all of us fight--God, the beloved enemy. Our enemy because, before giving us everything, he demands of us everything; before giving us life, he demands our lives--our selves, our wills, our treasure.
Will we give them, you and I? I do not know. Only remember the last glimpse that we have of Jacob, limping home against the great conflagration of the dawn. Remember Jesus of Nazareth, staggering on broken feet out of the tomb toward the Resurrection, bearing on his body the proud insignia of the defeat which is victory, the magnificent defeat of the human soul at the hands of God."
I feel the broken-footed stagger this day. Unexpected waves of grief have come as we prepare the Gray's house for the Clarks. The Clarks are an unkown, a promise of relationship which we anticipate. But having them move into the Gray's old house solidifies the reality that our old neighbors will never return. In a few minutes we leave for Fort Portal to spend two nights as a team with the Chedester family, honoring their decade of service in Uganda as we say goodbye to them. They are moving on, and it is another loss. Wednesday I discharged Peter John, a good thing, but I realized how much I loved walking onto the ward most days over the last three months to be greeted by his open-armed pick-me-up snotty smile, naked, infected, but unabashed. In only one more week Pat will begin a short two-month furlough. I miss Heidi, too. We talk on the phone with Luke and he's in the midst of the future, colleges, tests, a world we barely touch on. And had vivid dreams of my parents last night. Who can explain, except that God decides to meet us and wrestle, why one week is more grief-laden than another? Like Mary at the tomb I am sure as we wrestle we are meant to grasp reality, that what we see as loss God purposes for gain.