This past year I have been sick with either a cold or the flu more often than ever before.
(You’re going to think this next part is pathetic) Several times I’ve wondered if my son Edward is to blame. Knowing that many of his peers from his day program are imuno-compromised, I thought that perhaps he was bringing home a disproportionate number of viruses. (Told you you’d think it was pathetic – who blames the disabled?)
Its just that every time I’ve been sick, he’s been sick too. So the connection seemed plausible. Maybe there’s something to it, or perhaps I’m getting sick for another reason.
One of the biggest challenges Fran and I face in raising Edward is his inability to communicate clearly. When he’s sick and can’t tell us what’s exactly going on, our frustration and pain are exacerbated. “Does he have a headache? Sore throat? Stomach pain? Aching joints? Burst appendix?” We have no idea what’s going on.
Last month Fran was up with Edward one night – for much of the night. At around 4:00 am, feeling a great deal of exasperation, she described some his physical symptoms to me. As she spoke I interrupted and said, “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve been feeling with my cold these past few days as well… so don’t worry, its just a virus thing.” Then it hit me. What if my being sick with Edward is a way of giving voice to his pain; of adding understanding and words to his illness? Then I felt pretty bad. Here I am blaming him for making me sick, when in fact, I would choose to be sick any time, at whatever level of discomfort or pain, if it meant I could help understand and articulate his condition. I would take on anything for this boy.
Surely this is how God our Father feels toward us. This is the kind of heart that chose to take on human flesh. Surely Jesus is articulating very clearly to the Father what’s going on with us. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses” Hebrews 4:15
For years I’ve grappled with the question of how creational revelation interacts and intersects with biblical revelation. Many times I’ve had sublime glimpses of what their union could look, sound, feel, smell or taste like. Every time its happened its felt very personal, as though Christ were right there, intimate and near. Which makes more sense to me now, after reading something in Leslie Newbiggin’s book, Proper Confidence. There he writes about another author who articulated the idea of the Cappadocian Fathers (4th century theologians) that a proper understanding of coherence of the created order and God is best articulated and modeled through the incarnate Christ (Jesus as both God and material man). “Therefore there are no ultimate self-contradictions [between creation and God]. It is not to be understood in terms of a yin-yang duality as in far Eastern thought. It has an ultimate coherence, a coherence of which the central secret is make known in the Incarnation.” (page 8)
Jesus is the ultimate and perfect expression of the coming together of created and Creator. If this is true, then he must also the one in which the secret of the co-mingling of the two books of revelation lies. What a great question to pursue! How does the person of Jesus Christ reveal the coming together of the two revelatory natures; creation and the bible?