July 23, 2010

The end of the tunnel

As our time here in the land of rotisserie chickens and humming dishwashers draws to a close, we are beginning the detaching process again.  I am talking candidly with my little brother about his plans for his future.  "Are you going to find yourself a good church?", I ask.  He nods.  "With a good singles ministry?", I prod.  He shifts his weight from foot to foot, that word single still so unfamiliar.  I walk through his house, the home they built, remembering the soap dispenser from the registry because I almost bought it for them but decided on two towels and a wash cloth or something like that.  I always buy the towels, probably because they are softer than the whisk and more likely to actually get used than the banana hanger.  Some people buy the hamper and fill it with goodies.  That stands out too much on the gift table if you ask me.  Some people even buy the trash can. That one never tempts me.

Daniel's sister and her husband are making plans for their extended stay in Little Rock.  No doubt they are getting familiar with the area, figuring out which restaurants are worth going to every weekend, and which mall has the best play place to take their three-year-old on a rainy day.  Daniel will leave them on Sunday, before our niece has had her first surgery.  We will see her one more time, two weeks from now, hooked to a web of tubes, before we leave the country for another two years.  Daniel will kiss his sister's forehead and bid her all the love a minute can hold before saying goodbye again.

She will spend the two hardest years of her life without him.

I drove away from my little brother's house today, amazed at how grown up he is.  At 27 years old, he is learning what it means to start again.  We have all learned a lot this summer.  We have learned that hearts keep beating, no matter how much they hurt, or how hard they tried, or how many ventricles they have.

The question is posed in times like these, "Is there light at the end of the tunnel?"  I saw a plaque, 5 feet tall and 8 feet wide, erected in the park in Grand Rapids today.  On it is engraved the words When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace.  I couldn't agree more.  The Power of Love promised us He would come back, and I believe He will with all my heart.  He is the Light of World, and the light at the end of the tunnel.