Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Better Half

Children, and their parents, crave stability. When their world is rocked by change, they are comforted by that which remains the same. I have been reminding my children of late that the loss of their mother, for all the pain, doesn’t mean that everything has changed. Indeed when I put my littles to bed each night I, as I have always done, remind them of these bedrock truths, “Daddy loves you. Mommy loves you. Daddy and Mommy love each other. And Jesus loves you.” These are the unchanging truths they can always count on, the solid ground on which they walk. We that are left behind are still together. And I am still me.

I am afraid, however, that I am not still me. This melancholy that follows me about like a cloud hovering over Charlie Brown, that’s not me. Waking up with less energy than when I went to sleep, that’s not me. Uninterested in food, that’s definitely not me. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror. Neither do I hear my own voice in what I write. It’s a stranger that sits here crying in my office.

This should not have surprised me. I have long decried our arrogant and modernist tendency in the Reformed world to turn God’s own ontological poetry into mere metaphor. God says the church is the body of Christ and we, instead of entering into the reality that the church is the body of Christ, we reduce it down to “Be nice to each other.” I, however, am guilty as well.

The Bible says that husbands and wives are one flesh. Christian marriage pundits turn this too into “Be nice to each other.” That is, we are told about the importance of open communication. We are encouraged to be as concerned for our spouse as we are for ourselves. We, in rephrasing what God has said so that we might understand it, end up further from the truth. We are not commanded to live as if we were one flesh. Instead we are told that such is the actual truth. The one-flesh reality means that I haven’t just lost the love of my life, but half of me. How could I recognize me, when I am now only half the man I once was? It isn’t quite accurate to say that when she drew her last breath a part of me died. Instead, half of me died.

The good news, however, is the same. Half of me has died, and is with Jesus. Half of me has no melancholy, but only joy. Half of me cries no more. Half of me sins no more. Half of me loves me, and the children, with a perfect love. Mourning, over the coming weeks and months, will move to dancing, as this half of me begins to more deeply believe the blessings I have in my better half.

I love Denise all the way to heaven and back. She in turn loves me all the way from heaven and back. And Jesus loves us both as the great bridge that not only brought us together, but keeps us together. May these gospel truths give me gentle sleep tonight.

Visit Highlands Ministries


Anonymous said...

Praying for gentle sleep for all of the Sproul household.

Angie Tolpin said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and for allowing God to use you now. Your pain and loss is a reflection of the strength your marriage possessed. She was/is still God's gift to you and you were to her. Praying for you and your family in your pain and rejoicing with you in this victory.

Anonymous said...

Having had a very similar experience, I want to offer comfort to you in just stating the fact that God will bring the sunshine upon your family again. You will smile and be genuinely happy once more. I would never have believed this, but it's true for me and it will be true for you even this side of Heaven. You and your family are being prayed for.

NewKidontheBlogg said...

RC, can you list on your blog how those in the community of faith can pracically minister to you now? You can't be two parents, but can there be people who come by to help clean, cook, play with the children, help with homeschooling, listen to you? Maybe you don't wish to list your needs here, but can you call and ask people who want to help, but don't know how? This is the body of Christ here that wants to bear one another's burdens.


Christina said...

Mr. Sproul I heard you speak at the CHEC in Denver this year; I was unaware of your family's situation prior to that time. I lost my mother to repeated cancer, so I was especially thankful for the brief opportunity to encourage your dear daughter. Only a few nights ago, the Lord woke me up from my sleep with a tremendous burden to pray for you and your children, and with a knowing that your wife was with Him. I am so sorry. But I hope this encourages your heart, that the Lord is keeping watch over you like a mother who cares for her young children, and He is calling people you do not even know to pray earnestly for your family.

Suzan said...

I think it is wonderful that you do indeed have much support around you and your family. I know that still, in the quiet moments when you are all alone, the reality of the situation comes fully to rest on your heart. BUT, for His children,God is present in all our moments and so our Comforter is still there to preserve you and carry you over to the other side.

Many are with you in your journey.

NewKidontheBlogg said...

Sometimes the Reformed community majors on theology and forgets to comfort. I am praying for comfort for you at this time.

Carol Noren Johnson

Kristi Knifong said...

This post is comforting many who have recently lost a spouse. It is an anointed picture of the spiritual reality of marriage. Such powerful words. May God continue to give you the grace to rejoice while you mourn.

Barbara said...

Dear R.C. I am sorry for your loss I and My Husband saw your dvd on almighty over all and weeped as we knew of Denises homecoming We do you remember you when we pray our 4th child who is suffering from ovairian cancer is 21 and does not live here wth us her name is casey please pray for her salvation she also have type1 diabetes this week she had to have chemo please pray we have 7 children most are not belivers at this time, In His Love The Hilenskis vancouver washinton