Jesus Makes a Heaven Out of Hell

Jesus Makes a Heaven Out of Hell December 3, 2022
Gustave Doré (1832–1883), “The Vale of Tears,” 1883; Wikimedia.

I wrote this piece in the middle of the night. I don’t know what you are going through in life. Perhaps you are facing steep challenges and deep depression. Holidays have a way of triggering sorrow, not just joy for me. As my family and I are now nearing two years since my adult son endured a catastrophic brain injury, I take increasing comfort in knowing that God can make a heaven out of hell, even while leading us home.

 

I might not get to the Eiffel Tower.
I might not make it to the Taj Mahal.
But I’m often at the Temple—my son’s bedside, where the angels dwell.
Jesus makes a heaven out of hell.
I have no time for morbidity. It only drags me down.
No place for frivolity. Too much anesthesia leads to overdose.
Trying so hard to keep it real.
Equilibrium is what I want to feel.
I might not get to the Eiffel Tower.
I might not make it to the Taj Mahal.
But I’m often at the Temple—my son’s bedside, where the angels dwell.
Jesus makes a heaven out of hell.
A little girl wants her daddy. Her words of longing grip the soul, swell in my throat.
So difficult to breathe without a trach. Such a relief when the lungs erupt.
Old memories, may you never fade, decay, corrupt.
New memories, may you begin to form.
Neuropathways and airways, open up! Make that journey home. Be transformed!
I might not get to the Eiffel Tower.
I might not make it to the Taj Mahal.
But I’m often at the Temple—my son’s bedside, where the angels dwell.
Jesus makes a heaven out of hell.
We ask others how they’re doing—but do we really want to know? Do they even know?
Pleasantries about the weather shroud restless silence, but not the inevitable.
Neuro-storm clouds keep on brewing. So much wind in my face.
Spirit, put the wind in my sails! Get me back to that quiet place.
I might not get to the Eiffel Tower.
I might not make it to the Taj Mahal.
But I’m often at the Temple—my son’s bedside, where the angels dwell.
Jesus makes a heaven out of hell.
About Paul Louis Metzger
Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D., is Professor of Theology & Culture, Multnomah University & Seminary; Director of The Institute for Cultural Engagement: New Wine, New Wineskins; and Author and Editor of numerous Books, including the forthcoming More Than Things: A Personalist Ethics for a Throwaway Culture (IVP Academic) and second edition of Evangelical Zen: A Christian's Spiritual Travels with a Buddhist Friend (Cascade). You can read more about the author here.

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