It was only three years ago that the tide of change began. When was it for you? A tide that could never be gathered back in, spilling across the sands of life. Flattening all the castles we carefully build on the shore in our minds of how life would be.
I had built castles of happily-ever-after and had already etched what our happiness would look like. The hand of the heavenly Father seemed heavy and hard as I held my son looking calm yet hiding a mass of brain damage behind tufts of fuzzy hair and soft ears. And the little boy in my arms seemed to beckon pain out of cracks in my heart I never knew were there.
How could there be beauty in a boy that would never whisper his love to me? How could there be beauty in still hands that would never reach with little dirty fingers and tug on my skirt and hide behind my legs? I begged God to end it quickly, to take my son to Himself before my heart broke. The unspeakable sorrow of watching a little boy, shared flesh and blood, with wide-eyes and chubby cheeks struggle for air and seize relentlessly sucked the desire for life clean away.
And when He didn’t take Calvin I began to pray for new eyes to see. Show me the beauty in this Lord. Instead of praying for healing I began to pray for my own soul-healing. A soul that was diseased with despair and mistrust. Show me your beauty, Lord! Open my eyes to your hands in my son’s life. Let me see you redeem this sorrow. Give us beauty for ashes.
I wanted to peel back heaven’s curtain, to peer into the beauty I knew God must be weaving even though all we could see and feel was sheer pain. I never could reach heaven’s curtain but instead reached for the Word, the revelation of the very heart of God. The certainty of his faithfulness in Jesus kept us searching in the darkness. Groping through each day, praying for eyes to see in the blackness instead of just sunny skies.
My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. Psalm 38:10
He has woven his handiwork of joy even deeper than the crevices of pain in each of us: brother, sisters, daddy and mommy. Our eyes began to work in the darkness and life and beauty were found in cold places. Now it’s tears of thankfulness for this beauty, this grace-gift in our lives. We take turns laying close to him, feeling his warm breath on our cheeks and weave his warm fingers though ours and rejoice in the gift of Calvin. Tears of sorrow at the thought of parting from this little one who’s made us long for more than happily-ever-after and fleeting castles in the sand.
There has been no healing, no radical change in Calvin and his hands we hold loosely. But the greater miracle is the eyes God gives to those of us groping in the darkness, holding onto our sorrow with one hand and grasping for truth and grace with the other.
Are you tired from sorrow, too full of despair to look for any good in your life, your child’s life? Ask God to give you new eyes, eyes for the darkness. How can you be sure he will? Look at this promise in Isaiah, the Father declares what he will do because of his Son, Jesus:
I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42:6, 7
Plead on that promise, on Christ’s merits and trust the he will (with delight) open your eyes blinded by pain and disappointment. He will give you eyes that see him walking ahead conquering all of your fears and leaving grace gems discovered only in the valleys.