March 11, 2021

Sweet union

 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me … . For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed (Lamentations 1:12,16)

I watched my father fall more times than I can remember. Each time, he would drag himself to where he could grab something stable with his left arm because the right one had no strength. Twisting, he leveraged what still worked in his broken body until his leg brace snapped back into place, and he could slowly pull himself up again.

As a little boy I watched, silent, frozen in place, not knowing what to do. Older, I learned to reach out to help, but most often Dad refused my arm. It was a matter of dignity, pride and perhaps proving he could still do it despite all polio had done to him.

And each time I loved him more for what he was doing, for who he was, an average man living a life he would have never chosen, choosing to live, to do what he could while it was day knowing, as did I, that night would come all too soon.

Just so, in later years when he would let me help, I circled him with my arms and pulled him up, turning my head to hide secret tears lest I reveal the sweet union of love and sorrow for which I still have no words.

I don’t know when it first happened, but I began to think it was Jesus I lifted—beaten, drained, played out, having given all he could to live and love the life our good and gracious God appointed for him.

Maybe having lifted my dad, I feel the sorrow of Jesus and understand both the love that is in him and the love he awakens in this heart and always will.

Pr. David L. Miller

We adore, O Christ, and we bless you.

By your holy cross you have redeemed the world