My sister Lee, who has no health insurance, went home from the county hospital a couple of days ago without being given the vital tests, including a biopsy or two, that she so desperately needs. Since getting home, my Dad reported tonight, she’s been very, very lethargic, almost catatonic, and has been sleeping most of the time. Apparently she also began running a high fever and my 30-year-old niece, Lee’s daughter, took her back to the ER tonight. At last report she had been taken to the "rapid assessment area" and there were about five medical professionals buzzing around her. Of course, my experiences in life have led me to constantly expect and prepare for the worst, and I can’t help but be reminded of all the family health trauma I’ve experienced over the years. So as I listened to my Dad and then immediately afterwards, I found myself in a familiar state of dissociative passive awareness- as if I was witnessing the events of my life from outside myself as an unbiased observer. If nothing else, this clues me into the presence of deep feelings that I’ve been trained to isolate at all costs, and I tremble just knowing that they lurk there in the shadows. Oh- and about the pessimism noted above, that’s far from being the whole story. I work daily to root my identity in being the beloved of Jesus, and as a Jesus-follower I glory in embracing the foolishness of the gospel- the scandalous absurdity of the Christian life, which means that though I expect the worst I also, inasmuch as I am able, choose to live as if the absolute best has already happened, because it has. This is the already/not yet paradox of life "between the times." The kingdom of God is already here because Jesus lived, died, and has been resurrected. Yet it is not yet fully realized (in case you hadn’t noticed), and so as Christians we must live like it’s here though the overwhelming evidence in the world around us often indicates the contrary- like when a dear sister gets real sick.
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