These words keep ringing in my ears. Seeing the hope in a desperately hopeless situation is painfully beautiful. Seeing glimpses of heaven in a lot of what has felt like hell is powerful. Being in a room full of people from all different backgrounds, all different ages, all different affiliations, but all together as one body crying out to our One God is something unexplainable. Really, in those moments, heaven is all around us and the gospel is all around us. I see the gospel in all the ways everyone is serving one another, loving one another, fighting for one another, and carrying one another’s mats. I see the gospel in the hundreds and hundreds of water bottles that have been at the Tin Roof and the abundance of food that continues to flood in to the tin roof and the house of AXO. I see the gospel in a friend allowing me to sleep in her bed every night with her. I see the gospel in people sitting together in mourning, holding so tightly to each other’s hands. I see the gospel in a room full of a lot of sweaty people all coming together in prayer. I see the gospel in Younglife leaders showing up still to be with their kids in this time. I see the gospel in a stranger at church putting a tissue in my hand when the tears are in abundance. I see the gospel in friends running out and dancing in the pouring rain and finding joy and the hope in the desperately hopeless situation. I see the gospel in the flowers and letters that fill AXO. I see the gospel in a friend reaching over and holding a hand as a reminder that we are in this together. I see the gospel in friends flooding a hospital waiting room together. I see the gospel in roommates being by their side of their 5th roommate. I see the gospel in a friend slipping a letter under a door to send encouragement. I see the gospel in the hundreds of donuts that some how continue to show up. I see the gospel in teachers understanding this situation and giving their students grace. I see it all around me and I feel it around me.
Everything about this week is painful. I have never seen such heart-wrenching hurt. Words right now are at a shortage. Processing is something that is on hold. Numbness comes in waves. Tears come in waves. Hurt is hurt— everyone handles it differently, everyone is affected differently. But, for all, this is hard. There are places right now that feel so empty because they have a missing piece. There are places right now that feel very dark and heavy. Somehow though, His light breaks through, and any empty spaces are filled with His love.
I have never seen His sovereignty in something more than I see it in this. I have never felt or believed more that ‘it is well’. It is well because of the cross and resurrection. It is well because He has given us each other to mourn, fight, and hope together. It is well because He weeps along side us in the hurt and rejoices along side us in the hope. It is well because heaven is all around us and His hand is gently on it all. And so we continue to wait. We wait for the Lord in healing our friend. We wait for the Lord to fill us with peace. We wait to see the Lord’s plan and purpose unravel in it all.
We are hard pressed on ever side; but not destroyed. He is with us in the suffering and that’s what we cling to. We lean harder than we have ever leaned before on Him. We hold each other’s hands harder than ever. We cry in utter weakness more than ever. We sing out to Him louder than ever. We pray bolder and bigger than ever. And we fight with all the fight we have.
He says to us, “And, behold, I am with you always to end of the age.” He is with us and He is bringing heaven all around us.