Over the last few weeks, I’ve really wished that my parents were around. When I was younger, I remember my mom always talking about her desire to see Jesus and how she couldn’t wait until she was out of the imperfect body that she was temporarily occupying. I never really understood her obsession back then. I couldn’t understand what would make her want for something more even though I had faith in God. I just felt like wishing my time away was futile and I wanted to live my life as best as I could.
Fast forward decades later and I’ve begun to get a glimpse of what my mom felt, at least I think that I have. In the past few weeks, I’ve been to the funeral home once, heard of countless others who have lost loved ones, had a friend who is scheduled for a second back surgery, prayed long and hard for a young boy to finally be well enough to go home from the hospital after a bout with appendicitis, and even known someone who had a shooting outside their front door resulting in a stray bullet making its way into their home. Yup, the fragility of life seems to have made its move to the front burner once again.
Fall always seems to be that way for me, I think it’s the nature of the season. Leaves change, they fall off of the trees, everything begins to look barren and it’s dark a good part of the time. Being a melancholic, it’s not terribly difficult for me to be introspective and dark, it just seems like the world follows me there in the Fall.
But I see a light, albeit dim, and I begin to understand my mom’s sentiments all those years ago. I begin to look past the barrenness to what’s just beyond. In Romans 8, Paul uses a Greek word that means “anxious and persistent expectation.” The literal translation of the word means something more like stretching the head forward and I get a picture of someone craning their heard around the corner, looking for what’s ahead, waiting for the hero to emerge and save the day.
Things break, that’s the nature of the world in which we live. The hope in the midst of that difficulty is that some things will be made new again, at least in creation. That is the hope of Romans 8, a re-creation of sorts, a restoration, a redemption and a movement from breakable to unbreakable.
My mom and dad are experiencing that now. They’re no longer craning their necks around the corner, trying to catch a glimpse of what’s waiting. The rest of us, however, will have to keep waiting. But I’d say that it’s something worth waiting for.