“And the King says, “Look! God and his children are together again. No more running away. Or hiding. No more crying or being lonely or afraid. No more being sick or dying. Because all those things are gone. Yes, they’re gone forever. Everything sad has come untrue. And see – I have wiped away every tear from every eye!” Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones
This is one of my favorite parts of the Jesus Storyboook Bible (easily my favorite book to read to kids). It’s her interpretation of Revelation 21 and it’s beautifully written. If you’re a Tolkien fan, it’s also a play on the question Sam asks Gandalf toward the end of The Return of the King, “Is everything sad going to come untrue?” I know the answer to Sam’s question is yes. But sometimes, I wish that coming untrue part would hurry up and get here.
I met a little kindergartner named Larry two weeks ago at Cathy’s Pointe. He and his older cousins played with us every day and had a blast. I was hoping to get to know him better. Tragically, he was killed early yesterday morning when the car he was riding in overturned outside Clarendon. His cousins and aunt are in the hospital. He was just 5 years old. The kids at Cathy’s Pointe were pretty upset and confused yesterday. I wish I could make it all come untrue.
I’ve recently began working with a family comprised of a dad raising his 4 year old and his two step children. They shared a mom with his daughter. Mom died a couple weeks after giving birth. He’s been forced to raise the 2 oldest as his own, as they really have no other family. He’s struggling. The four year old is so distressed by their living situation that she’s been pulling out her hair clumps at at time. The oldest have multiple problems of their own. The whole situation is messy and painful. I wish I could make it come untrue.
One of my 9th grade boys has been skipping school regularly. He met with a judge last week and is on his last chance. If he doesn’t get his act together, he’s done with high school and will have to pursue his GED. He’s got so much potential and I have so much hope for him, yet he’s throwing it all away. He’s full of hurt and anger over his dad’s lack of involvement and broken promises and it’s affecting his school work and behavior. He’s found acceptance with the wrong group of guys. I hope he listens to his mom, listens to me, listens to other positive voices in his life. Honestly, I don’t know if he will. I wish I could make his bad choices come untrue.
I could go on and on. I hear story after story after story. Of hurts and pains and heartaches. Of broken promises. Of loss. Of fear.
That’s why this week, Holy Week, is so significant for me. Because Jesus Christ took all of sin and all the consequences of sin – sickeness, death, pain, heartache, abuse, suffering, we have hope. Because He conquered death, we have hope. Because he promises to return and make everything new - we have hope. Without Jesus, what else do I have to offer? A hug, some advice, an ear to listen, maybe. Sure, those are good things, helpful even. But apart from Jesus, apart from the resurrected hope of a life made new, none of that means much of anything.
So this week, as I prepare for Easter. As I tell all our Mission 2540 kids about what Jesus did and why Sunday isn’t about Easter Bunnies and eggs, I’m holding on to hope and I’m passing on that hope to our kids as best I can. That today may be dark. It may be sad. But Sunday is coming. You may struggle. You may hurt. Your heart may break. Life may not be easy. But Sunday is coming.
And everything sad is going to come untrue.
I’m holding on to that hope this week.