Merry Christmas, my son.
We worshipped Jesus this morning (just like you did). Kelsie sang a mini-concert. She sang about the King you now see with your own eyes. (The photo below was taken after church this morning.)
I don’t have a lot to say. I simply wanted you to know something: we’re making it.
In fact, we’re not merely “making it”; we’re learning again, through Christ, to “live”, to “dance”, to “sing”.
Believe it or not, I’ve completed my first semester pursuant of a Masters Degree in Apologetics. It’s hard! These professors are geniuses. But, I’ve learned so much.
Remember almost two years ago when you and I went to Texas Tech and listened to Dr. Mike Licona discuss evidence for the resurrection of Jesus? (Remember, how I got a parking ticket, and you didn’t? :)) Well, Dr. Licona is one of my professors next semester.
You and I used to sit and have so many conversations about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth, Narnia, etc. You loved adventure. Your small group from church met in our basement. You called our basement “the Shire.” That said, you cannot know how many times, after learning yet another timeless truth and/or principle this past semester, I’ve whispered aloud, “Oh Jordan – I would so love to know your thoughts about this…”
You would love what I’m learning. But, this I know, son: what I’m learning is mere shadow compared to the greater reality you now experience. I can only imagine kingdoms. You live in one!
By the way, in my studies I’ve “met” so many other brilliant apologists you would absolutely love, many of whom, like Lewis, are now in heaven. Wait a minute – I just thought of something – they’re with YOU! Oh, my son, I’m merely reading and studying their works – you know them! Perfectly! (Selah – wow, I’ve gotta pause and think about that for a moment.))
Our church family (Christ’s Body) has been the personification of the Good Samaritan Jesus described in the familiar parable. When they’ve seen us “beaten & bleeding on the side of the road,” they’ve not once grown weary of lifting our broken, bruised bodies, tenderly caring for our needs, holding us close, and helping us remember what is true (God’s mighty Word.)
A dear friend of ours named Joyce Rowe is one of the many who check on us all the time. Her son died too when he was young. She told us just last week that research shows that, after the first year (which is absolutely maddening), emotional breakdowns tend to become more infrequent. (This has been true in our case.) However, that same research shows that, at the 18-month mark, emotional breakdowns tend to spike for a little while. (This has also been true in our case.) The good news is that one rebounds much more quickly than they used to. Thanksgiving marked 18 months since Jesus embraced you and carried you to Paradise – as well as 18 months since I found you that day, forever changing our lives.
However,…. (and this is huge, my love…)
Jesus is blurring that image in my mind. No, let me re-word that: Jesus is redeeming that image in my mind.
Our faith in Christ is strong, my son. We are more sensitive to the pain and hurt around us locally, nationally and globally. It would be difficult to convey to you how many hurting people God has allowed us to minister to this past year.
Satan tried to steal our story. But, far from losing our faith, Christ has infused it with power. We have a story to tell. Not a story of sadness, but of Hope. And that Hope has a name: Jesus Christ; Emmanuel: God With Us.
The Lord continues to open up opportunities for me to preach and teach about this Hope. Next month, I will speak to hundreds of teenagers from high schools all over the region about depression. And your mom ministers to hurting boys & girls (and their parents) every single day as a school teacher. It’s absolutely amazing what Jesus is doing through her!
Well, I better go, my love. I just wanted you to know that the darkness that enveloped our home no longer exists. Sure, there are “moments”. However, we’ve made a choice to believe that God is not only good, but that He is trustworthy – even in the face of unspeakable suffering.
If you see Job, tell him his faith (after having lost ten children of his own) has helped me so much: “The Lord gives; and the Lord takes away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (I talked about Job at your Memorial Service :))
Paul (who you’ve possibly met) wrote: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
We profoundly believe this to be true.
The cross, and the empty tomb make it all possible.
We love you. So much.
Love, Dad (for Narnia!!) :))