This has been one of those weeks. Among other minor catastrophes, I went walking in an ancient forgotten cemetery with the grandkids and they gathered colorful weeds and little branches from a beautiful Bartlett pear tree to put on the various old tombstones. In the process, I leaned on a very large tombstone (and, yes, it was very much already leaning, for those of you who already have your mouths open) and I tipped that thing to the ground. I was leaning forward on it with my hands on the top of it, and that thing fell toward me. I have a very large thigh-length bruise on my leg, BUT I do realize the leg could have been crushed if I had not backed away lightning fast.
So my husband said “Well, at least it was in a forgotten cemetery and not at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or something.” The eternal optimist.
The next day, my husband was saying something personal and flirtatious to me (something I would never say to the world) and he was telling me to “go ahead and type that to your friends.” So, since I was sitting next to him and he could see my screen I typed that right into that facebook group. Of course, I was playing with my husband and OF COURSE, I was going to click delete. So yes. I accidentally clicked “return” and there was my comment for the whole fb group. And all of their blue and green emojis were already lined up. That screen lit up like a firecracker. Gifs, Emojis, exclamation points and, from my daughter, vomiting faces were all over that laptop screen. My husband said “Cindy!!!! Well at least it was you and they know you would never say anything like that to the whole world and, at least it wasn’t the whole world—it was just a little group.” The eternal optimist.
But let me tell you that facebook group was way too big at that moment. So was that tombstone. (Three big people tried to hoist it back up and we did not budge it. It’s going to take a tractor with a hook or something.) Ezra was petrified when I told him we were going in the little shop next door and confess. “They might take you to jail, Mammy.” He was already envisioning visiting his grandmother who was convicted for tombstone tipping.
I’m glad I have a husband who looks at the bright side. I need that right now. I’m thankful I have a Father who dwells in the eternally bright side. We constantly say, “If worse comes to worst, we will…” But the real worst never has to happen in a Christian’s world. The worst thing, of course, is eternal damnation and that never happens. “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ” (Romans 8:1). I cannot love that passage more. Every parent should do the very hardest things to make sure their children, even adult children, are constantly walking after the Spirit. Sometimes those things are excruciating. Every wife should maintain the most difficult spirit of 1 Peter 3:1-5, doing hard things to enable her husband to come to be “in Christ.” Husbands who love their wives should make the temporal sacrifices, no matter how deep they are, to give their wives and kids whatever it is that best promotes their spiritual development each day. Sometimes very hard things for a short time result in easier things (even blissful things) for a very long time.
Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine are keeping the faith in the most difficult of times right now. I know there are temptations to lie, to take things that do not belong to them, to seek personal safety before thinking of the needs of others, to give up on faithful prayer and assembling together. I know this is the case. They are experiencing worse times than I will likely know. But even they are not experiencing the worst of times. The worst of times is reserved for the devil and his angels and it is described as a lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Rev .20), where the worm cannot die and the fire cannot be quenched (Mark 9). That’s the worst and it is not reserved for those Ukrainians who are in Christ. May God provide a respite soon for them. But if not, may they cling to the truth that worse will never come to worst.