The dad that would never again kiss his baby good-night, or teach her how to drive a car at sixteen, or walk her down the aisle in white.
The pain was too much, and I wanted to walk away.
But I couldn't.
If he could stand there and bare his soul and pour out his grief all over the place, the least I could do was to stay and to listen and to hurt with him.
It was sad.
We pulled out of my mother's driveway to return home.
It was dark, as it always seems to be when we leave her.
Jim asked me what he always asks when we get to the end of her street.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes," I always answer.
"I'm just sad. It's just so sad."
She was too weak to mother, and so she cried and we felt helpless.
It is always sad to see a life spent. A life waiting for the next one. The one that is forever.
Hospice has been by her side for a year, and we give thanks for all the gifts in the suffering, but it is sad.
Very, very sad.
The new puppy was awake and full of energy.
He had slept in his kennel on the way home from mother's, and he was ready to play.
I got in the floor with him while he rolled and twisted and ran and put his little puppy teeth all over me. I threw the orange ball and he chased it and I laughed at his puppiness and wondered what we were thinking when we brought this litle package of energy into our home.
I thought about how we already love him, and no matter what we were thinking, or even the fact that maybe we weren't, it doesn't really matter. He is ours now, and if he needs us to we will play puppy and growl and crawl around on the floor and roll balls. We will act all crazy-in-puppy-love because we are.
But there's one of us that can't get on the floor and play puppy. And I looked into his face and saw the sadness that can't brought.
Ethan sat and watched, while I played with his puppy.
And all my puppy-happiness drained out of me, and I wanted Ethan to be the one in the floor playing puppy.
And I was sad, and I told Ethan I was sad, and that I wished it were me sitting in the chair while he rolled and growled and acted all crazy-puppy in the floor.
He told me that he already knew that. That he never doubted it.
And another little piece of my heart broke. Again.
Sad. Just sad.
That night I thought about all the sadness I had seen in just twelve hours.
I wanted to forget it.
To pretend that it wasn't real.
But how could anyone ever deny the sadness of a daddy that won't hold his little girl again, or the sadness of a mother that is too weak to mother when she is yours?
How could I ignore the hurt of a heart that was woven with mine at its very first beat?
The angel said to the shepherds on that very first Christmas night, "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people."
And I know that the angel is still saying it, in all of the sadness that we can't ignore or make go away.
I know the angel is saying it to me.
Jesus came to suffer as we suffer. To experience our sadness. He came to share in the feelings of the daddy, and of the mother, and of the one that can't get in the floor to play puppy.
He came for all the sadness the world would ever know.
As Spurgeon said, "A Jesus who never wept could never wipe away my tears."
"This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." Hebrews 4: 15-16
He suffered so He could comfort, and He died so we could live.
Jesus is the Great Joy the angel told the shepherds about.
And when they heard of this Joy, they ran to find Him and to worship Him.
If we will listen, I too believe we will hear Jesus speak His joy into our sadness.
All of it.
And when we do, let's do as the shepherds did.
Let's run to Him, and find Him, and fall down and worship Him.