Monday, July 28, 2008

At the Heights and Depths

At lunch today we were praying for some things (HFNY shares office space with a local church here in the city, so there were about 60 people there). A young couple who is pregnant with their second child just found out that the fetus has a heart malformation that will require surgery upon birth. Another lady voiced that her brother in law, who is wheel-chair bound, recently fell off of a ramp and out of his chair breaking both legs. He has a wife and two children. They are dependent on his income and he will be out of work for months while trying to recover. We also prayed for a lady who developed pulmonary fibrosis while undergoing cancer treatments, and just underwent a double lung transplant.

Then we celebrated several people's lives by having them stand up as we sang 'Happy Birthday'. We also welcomed new team members, clapping, cheering and voicing our appreciation for them. Lastly we rejoiced together for the provision of housing for several men who were in need of it.

I was struck with how empty it would be to deal with the abject tragedies in life, and how hollow it would be to celebrate the wonderful and beautiful things in life, if not dealt with and celebrated before a loving God. To cry and mourn and grieve before an indifferent universe or to sing songs of joy and exultation unto the ears of nothingness would, to me, be the height of futility and I would have no desire to continue with it a second longer.

So today as you celebrate, or as you mourn, do so with the understanding that you do it before a God who loves you and cares for you. Whether or not you believe it.

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Heb 4:14-16

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Ps 63:2-5