Early last week Sophie started to get swollen lymph nodes in her neck. The doctor prescribed oral antibiotics with which to fight any infection that may have been present. When the swollen nodes did not respond to the treatment, Sophie was admitted to Strong hospital and was administered antibiotics through an IV. There was still no change in the swollen nodes.
The doctors could not come up with a definitive diagnosis. Like any modern parents, Mike and Donna began to do research on the Internet to find out what the possibilities were. Some were scary, including lymphoma. The doctors admitted that this was a possibility. Only time and more tests would tell.
Mike and Donna were wonderful parents throughout the experience. They basically lived in the hospital room with Sophie for the better part of a week. Donna found it almost impossible to leave Sophie even for a short time. As she was reflecting on her own love for and anxiety for Sophie, she asked, “How can God stand it? He has so many children that He loves and cares for?”
How indeed? But He does.
In Helen Waddel’s novel about the life of the medieval theologian, Peter Abelard,we find this excerpt describing a conversation between Abelard and Thibault:
Thibault stopped. “I could not sleep for nights and nights. And then I saw that God suffered too. And I thought I would like to be a priest”.
“Thibault, do you mean Calvary?”
Thibault shook his head. “that was only a piece of it---the piece that we saw---in time. Like that”. He pointed to a fallen tree beside them, sawn through the middle. “That dark ring there, it goes up and down the whole length of the tree. But you only see it where it is cut across. That is what Christ’s life was; the bit of God that we saw. “
It is at this time of year that we reflect on the cross of Christ, the bit of God that we saw. The love and suffering that we saw on Calvary is still present in the heart of God.
How can God stand it? This constant suffering love for His children? I don’t know, but He loves and suffers still.
As for Sophie, she had surgery on Tuesday. The doctors found an abscess which they drained. She’s going to be fine. She’ll be home before you read this.
May it be so with all God’s children. At least that is what God longs for.
©2005 C. David Hess