Jesus Knew, and Jesus Knows

I’ve reached the point of complete lament. I’ve reached the point of realization: I’m just sad. Oh so sad. I feel like I can’t look at pictures. I can’t think of memories. I have to stuff all the beautiful Papillion possibilities and Papillion dreams far away from my mind.

The sweet memories taunt me. They feel pungent in my face. They feel mean, and seductive. But all at the same time they feel as sweet to me as a newborn baby, or a delicate robin’s egg. I don’t think I can even look at pictures right now. The life we live here is too beautiful. Too alluring. Too perfect. 

All the material blessings (our house, our neighborhood, our money) is easy to forsake. But our parents? Well that’s an entirely different post. Our parents are some of the most loving, intentional, influential people in our children’s lives.

Our family. Oh our family!

Their love, and extreme involvement in our lives is unthinkable. I cry thinking about them. How can we leave them? How can Waldo be taken from his Reegee? How can Dolly be taken from her Grandma Van and Bappa? And now Lois, she doesn’t even have a chance to know how good it is to live close to these 4 people who are so influential to all of our lives. No more spontaneous dinners. No more Reegee Wednesdays. No more “can you babysit in a couple hours so I can run some errands.” No more “come over tonight because Bobby has a meeting!” No more going frisbee golfing and taking long walks. No more help with laundry and dishes and grocery shopping. No more regular hangs at the Kunkle backyard oasis. No more driving to Grandmas house or driving to Reegee and Bappa’s house. No more zoo trips. No more park trips.

No more family at our fingertips.

I used to be confused about the passage where Jesus didn’t acknowledge his mother and brothers standing outside (Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21). But now, I think I get it. The family lure is real. The beautiful relationships, the natural desire to cling to your family, the built-in love you have for your family, it’s a real thing. If Jesus never made a stance about family, would anyone ever leave for the sake of the gospel? Maybe we would all just stay put and take as much love from our parents as we could. But Jesus’s words- which before I never understood, and now I am beginning to understand- are this:

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)

I was very shocked when I realized Jesus said this LITERALLY right after the rich young ruler (what I wrote about yesterday). It’s like, oh snap, riches and family: they relate. It’s like, God knew the things that would keep people put. It’s like Jesus knew exactly what he needed to say in order to free people to GO for the sake of the gospel. Riches and family. I always knew leaving riches made sense. But I never predicted in a million years that leaving your family would ever make sense.

And yet here we are.

So I’m freeing myself to cry. I’m freeing myself to lament. Because it is sad. And it is hard. And it seems dreadful. But somehow, Jesus knew that. And Jesus knows it would be worth it.

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