My Child in Pain – a Good Friday Reflection

Our youngest son has a rare, uncureable neuro-vasculitis, diagnosed when he was hospitalized with a large cerebral blood clot.  Although under treatment, seasons of  unremitting, debilitating headaches remain one of the symptoms of his condition.

My child in pain.
Mom! Mom! Please…! he cries out,
and I am altogether altered.
Every energy in me is condensed, concentrated on this one thing:
stop it. Stop the pain.
At any cost.
I will pay it. I will say it.
I will run you down if you can help him, run you over if you stand in my way.
I will bankrupt myself, body and soul to save him from it.
My child is suffering and it is
excruciating.
Every moment is an eternity, and if relief is not now, it’s not good enough,
Because all there is, is now.
I cannot stand to see it, but I will not turn away.

Why does the worst of it always come at night?
In the dark I wrap myself around him, as if that can keep the pain at bay.
I try to somehow absorb it off him, wring it out, absorb some more.
And I do that instinctive thing, what love has done against the dark since time began- I sing to him.
The words that come are the ones I sang at night to him, back when all of him fit in my arms.
There is a Redeemer
Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.
Thank you, O my Father
For giving us
your Son…

And with that,  in the dark,  in the wrench of my child’s pain and my helplessness,
it strikes me –

Your child was in pain, God.
Pain beyond imagining, in body and spirit. It split Him open.
Your child.
His suffering, Yours.
Excruciating. Excruciate means, after all – to crucify.
The suffering He absorbed, unspeakable, His blood wrung out and wrung out again.
Stop it – You could’ve said.
And it would have.
But You didn’t.
And all sin,  my sin, laid on Him,
separated You from Him. Your child.
My child cries to me and in that moment feels me near,
Your child cried out and in that moment, felt forsaken.
How did that feel to You, God?
Your heart, crucified.

Why? Why would You ordain this?
Your child, God. Allowed to suffer and break and feel abandoned.
Where was the love in that?

As I sit in the tension,
with my child, in the dark,
as I feel him settling, the pain receding, his breathing slow as its grip releases,
it comes to me:

The love
was on me.
Your child for mine. For me.
It was the cost of us, 
so we will never be
forsaken.

I know the love for a child , my child.
What kind of love
is this?

All I can grasp is the corners of it,
but I wrap it around us, love against the dark, and even the corners are enough.
It covers, holds us,
the only song in the night,
in the pain,
that can.

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One response

  1. Pingback: A Reading Suggestion | Jen Underwood

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