Recently found out the fiancee of someone in Allen's programming circle has been hospitalized with (as I heard it) pretty much zero hope of ever leaving it. He told Allen that they were getting married this evening. It's one of those situations where you don't know what to do and it feels like every possible course of action is wrong. We're planning to get them a wedding gift as soon as we can figure out what to get them. A nice vase or some crystal candle sticks seems pretty silly and useless when you know the marriage is going to be all too short, but giving them a new mixer just emphasizes the disparity between what is and what they wanted. It really doesn't help any that they're atheists. Death and hope in the face of death are pretty hard subjects for Christians and atheists to grapple with over a hospital bed. All the old sticks about love being eternal ring pretty hollow when you're talking about people who don't believe in God or heaven. I'm really trying hard not to think about the alternatives here. It's kind of ripping me up inside that there are two people who love each other and are standing by each other through one of them more horrific things two lovers can experience, and I'm over here praying desperately "Lord, have mercy." I truly believe that love is the ultimate defiance of death because love is the only thing is this miserable, fallen love that's large enough to reach eternity. As the Bible says, "and the greatest of these is love." "Love never fails." Love existed before creation, and it will exist after this heaven and earth have faded away. To Christians going through pain this can be a comfort. I know for a certainty that if either Allen or I died tomorrow we would be with each other again. Can't say that either of us would really feel like living through that reality, but it would still be real. Atheists don't know this. It's not the way their world works. When you give up the sacrifice at the cross you give up its hope too. I wish God would look into this couple's lives and make the pain stop. I wish God would "prove" Himself, but the fact of the matter is that the Bible says He already has. God gets to decide what constitutes evidence -not us. I can't say I blame Him either. Jesus said that people who didn't understand Jesus and His mission from the Law and Prophets wouldn't believe even if someone where raised from the dead. Well you had Lazarus, and you had Jesus. These events didn't take place in some little backwater town where no one knew what was going on either. Here you have Jesus and Lazarus walking around talking to people and people who should have known still didn't believe. We ask God to prove Himself and forget how many times He already has proven Himself to a people intent on going their own way. This includes me. The reality of God is sitting there in front of us, and we can't even see it. Our lives are filled with pain. With defiant eyes we raise our futile hands to the sky and condemn the Maker we hate for not giving us parents that loved us or life instead of sickness. The only difference between me and the rest of them is that I'm searching for, waiting for the God who loves me not just enough to die for me but to put up with my sloppiness, my temper, and my inattention. And I desperately wish I could give hope to people going through these kinds of situations. How do you give hope, though, to someone saying "God, if you're real, you can make it stop, and if you could make it stop but you don't then you're no kind of God at all." I don't know what to say. I've asked time and again "God, why does it have to hurt so much?" I still don't have an answer, but I do have hope that one day I'll be beyond all this hurt and sorrow.
So enough with all this rambling. What am I going to do? Well someone closer to this couple has offered to get some information for us about suitable wedding gifts, and I'm going to pray really hard that God has mercy. It's the only damn hope any of us have.