2 Corinthians 16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
We are guaranteed, it seems, momentary troubles every day. Today was no different. I played ultimate frisbee last night with a group of Romanians and Americans until 11pm which meant that by the time my body calmed down and was ready for sleep it was 2am. The good news was that I had a great time, albeit I was very sore. The bad news was that I was due to be working the volunteer shift today which meant an early wake up and a day on my feet rocking babies, changing diapers, and generally being unable to recover. Yeah, I know, woe is me. It must be hard to snuggle babies all day but all you parents know that it can be harder than it looks. However, I hardly think that that these are the types of troubles Paul had in mind but they certainly are momentary and light.
As I settled in to my shift I could feel my body aching but happy to have been challenged by the previous night’s activity. Moreover, I was overwhelmed by the peace I felt as I brought some joy to the babies on the 4th floor of the Brasov Children’s hospital. I had woken up dreading having to go to “work” today because I was tired and sore but it took all of about a second to forget all of that when I saw the babies greeting us with huge smiles and coos of excitement. I know that this is the “seen”, but I also feel like the effort the folks at FFR put forth is part of the unseen. We have no idea what the long run, the unseen future, for these babies will be, but I am quite hopeful that their lives will be at least a little better because of the love and care that they receive from the volunteers and the wonderful nurses every day. I cannot even imagine the feelings these little ones have with not seeing their family every day but I know that they feel loved, even for a short time, and sometimes that is enough.
This passage from Paul also reminds me then ultimately of love. This was the most fundamental and important guideline for being one with Jesus, with God. Rule one, love God above all else. Rule two, love each other as much as you love yourself, if not more. Love is the ultimate unseen. Heck, even the Beatles got in on the idea writing a song espousing the fact that love cannot be acquired, no matter the cost. Love is unseen but unforgettable and, when truly and deeply felt, unending.
I am so thankful I looked past my fatigue and soreness and did not ask Sara to take my place today at the hospital. I know that she would have gladly gone and ultimately those children would have gotten just as much or even more from her. But I would have missed out on the opportunity to reaffirm my love for them, and for God. I was blessed to have fixed my eyes on what was truy important and I felt truly nourished by the smiles, the snuggles, and even the stinky diapers that greeted me.
To God be the glory.