Not Your Normal List

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  Romans 8:22

 One thing I have loved about sheltering in place is the opportunity our family has had to hang out.  Our lives have slowed to a turtle’s pace.  So has yours.

My daughter, Jaime, and I hang out a few afternoons every week and talk on my porch over coffee.  One of the most poignant conversations happened recently and it centered around the implications of the Fall and how creation groans.

Typically, when we think of the effects of the Fall, we think of big things.  Pain of childbirth, plagues, destructive weather, disease, rape, murder, etc.  What struck us in our sharing was that there is a more subtle list.  I’ll start it below:

  • As an infant, you were lying in your bassinette.  It was 2:00 a.m. and you woke up hungry.  You started to cry.  Your tired mother was exasperated. “No, you can’t need to eat again!”   What is that?   The Fall.
  • In Kindergarten, there is whispering among a group of girls about the outfit you’re wearing.  There is shame and uncertainty.  What is that?   The Fall.
  • You’re doing your homework.  Your parents are in the middle of something, but you need their help for one of your math problems.  They are irked at the interruption.  “Good grief!  Can’t you figure it out yourself?”  What is that?   The Fall. 
  • Your arms, legs, and face sting from bad sunburn.  What is that?   The Fall.
  • You feel uneasy and spend time driving around the block to find a parking space that is better lit with streetlamps.  What is that?   The Fall.
  • You wake up and wish you felt like you did yesterday.  The energy is gone and you know you’ll have to push to get through your day.  What is that?   The Fall.

Why make a list like this?  I can tell you that it’s been very meaningful.  We know that God will wipe away all tears, that He will eradicate all disease, and that we will dwell in safety.  But how about the redemption of little things!  There will be no more exasperated loved ones who tire of our needs.  There will be no more inflicted shame by friends and acquaintances.  There will be no more days of feeling the pressure of physical limits.

And how about the biggest pain we feel?  The longing to be with God, in the presence of perfect Love.  That ache will be satisfied when our separation is over.  We will be permanently home.  Safe.  Loved.  Glorified.  Full of joy.  Looking into the face of the One we have loved, but not yet seen.

I’ve underestimated what you will restore and make new.  Let me imagine with the wonder of a child.  Amen

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