The choice for me has never been heaven or hell, but rather, heaven or earth. Before Graham left, it was often easy to pretend that this world, this earth, was good enough… everything around me seemed to sparkle. Brokenness and pain were merely sad parts in an otherwise wonderful existence.
Although I understood the promise of redemption and the need for it intellectually, my relationship with Christ was often one-dimensional or at the very least, the emphasis was misplaced. Thankfully God is forever steadfast, and he drew me to himself again and again… but it wasn’t until Graham was ripped away that my lens suddenly panned out as never before. The vastness of my destitution had been revealed, and this lackluster, shitty existence will never be good enough, ever again.
I can no longer be seduced with self-made, mediocre living. I can no longer find power in myself or perfection in my children. I can no longer settle for the wonder of a sunset or the presence of a loving community. This is one of the most profound truths that Graham’s loss has uncovered — a crystal clear understanding of my absolute dependence on Jesus. Just Jesus. He infuses the good things of this world with their beauty and power – He IS the sparkle! Apart from Him… well, it’s a wasteland apart from Him.
In a culture that reveres self-reliance, beauty and strength we try so hard to avoid any opportunity for weakness. We believe the solution must somehow come from within – or at the very least, from the goodness of those around us. We believe that somehow, perseverance or love is the answer… We believe this world must be, somehow, good enough.
But it’s not. It’s just not.
Looking full on at my complete helplessness is a foundational layer of my grief… I couldn’t save Graham anymore than I can save myself. I am fully desperate, fully crushed. Every morning I wake up and realize the world is still without Graham, which means every morning is a reminder that I am powerless, worthless, ugly, and lost. And before you jump forward to assure me that it’s not true – Don’t, please. It’s ok.
It’s ok, because in my weakness, Jesus is made perfectly powerful. In my ugliness, Christ is wholly beautiful. In my emptiness, God pours into me unending fullness. The promise of Jesus is sufficient. This world – – is not
So, storm-weary and aching I simply cry out, “Jesus, please. I choose heaven!