At 3am this morning, I woke up and immediately thought of Abdullah. With vivid detail, I relived those last hours of his life. Again.
I found myself wondering if I had missed something that could have saved him. As his life faded away and he took his last breath, I wished I had told him it was ok, to not be afraid. I wish I had told him Jesus loved him and was waiting for him.
I believe this existence is a shadow of what is to come. That real life begins with our final breath. That when we close our eyes for the last time in this world, we open them to a place free of the pain and the evil of a fallen planet. A place of inexpressible beauty and peace. And above all, we will see Him, face to face. From the moment He rescues us, we become sojourners on a path towards another perfect, everlasting destiny.
But first, we live here.
He made us for this life, too. He created us to take our first steps, speak our first words, fall in love, pursue a unique purpose for this life. Because this is a fallen world, this journey is also full of disappointment, pain, heartbreak, and loss.
So why, with unwavering confidence in this hope, without even realizing it at first, did I feel again, those silent tears? Why did I keep reliving those agonizing moments with lucent clarity?
I know it’s for all Abdullah never knew. For all he never had the chance to experience. But I wondered if I was lingering too long in this sadness. Or if part of me was clinging to this pain because it kept the overall Iraqi experience from fading. Or if my faith just wasn’t strong enough or real enough to heal this ache.
Was the reality of the heaven, just not real enough to soothe this loss?
Laying in the silent darkness, in the midst of this struggle, I heard a very clear response from God.
“Never accept the evil in this world.
And never stop grieving it.”
When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it..