Someone asked me what the worst part of Joseph’s illness was this past year. In the early days of Joseph being sick, he developed “hyperalgesia.” Essentially, Joseph’s brain had swollen enough to put his senses in overdrive. This turned out to be a pretty tough side-effect for all of us. Think about it… the tv was always too loud. Our dinner conversations would send him into a fit, covering his ears. Sunlight was too bright. He was always freezing or burning up. But the worst? The worst was his hyper-sense of touch. All I wanted to do was snuggle with him. But, just putting my hand on his cheek would make him flinch. When you’re the type that just wants to hug everything better, hyperalgesia is your #1 enemy.
And one day I read this from 2 Kings 20. Hezekiah is facing some tough crap when he says to God, “Remember Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And, it goes on to say that Hezekiah “wept bitterly.” See, this is where I would want to hug Hezekiah. I love that the scriptures tell of real interactions like this with real feelings. And here is God’s response…
“I have heard your prayers. I have seen your tears. I will heal you.”
More than once, I doubted the promise of these words. I doubted God heard me at all. I wept bitterly like Hezekiah. I said out loud, “Hey, I’m good. No more testing please! I know I can’t handle this anymore!!!”
But this verse holds promise. The promise of being seen. You are seen. You are heard. Maybe it doesn’t feel that way. Maybe you feel like you’re the only one. So say it. Say it to God. You know enough about me to know I have said these words to God a) out loud & angry b) kneeling in tears c) in the car, talking like a looney bird d) with friends surrounding me in prayer e) while eating a lot of chocolate f)all of the above AT THE SAME TIME.
The living word is a reflection of our living God. Read it and then look around you to see Him. Because you will. And then, you will read this verse from Job 42:5 and know it to be true in your very soul.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
Hard things in life can make you flinch at the idea of church, religion, God. My ears have been hearing about a God I can not describe with physical adjectives like height and weight and hair color. But I have seen Him. I have seen God. And I just want to hug Him.