I hate Children’s Hospital. Not the people there and the wonderful work that they do, but the very fact that it must exist. I went in there the other night to visit with a boy who was in CCU and I felt a flood of all of the other visits to all my other “children” overwhelm me. Students and youth group kids. Nephews and cousins. All there for one reason – they were dying. I thought about all the times I held their hands or prayed over them, about the times I held their parents hands. I remembered the time that I came in with my young son Luke to visit one of my basketball players – a 12-year old boy – and watched as Luke threw up upon entering the room. My thoughts exactly, son.
As I walked past room after room of children lying in these beds, I asked God, “Is this really the plan? This is Your way?” I was sad. I was angry. I was confused.
Then I felt His anger return upon me. No – this is not My way. This is the end of man’s way. What should I expect after years and years of decisions that were contrary to His commands? Man has systematically removed God from every sphere of life: education, science, medicine, government . . . . even religion. Did I think that the end result of this would be beautiful? Without God it’s ugly and messy. Romans 1 gives the perfect picture of life spent in man’s way. Three times He says that He (reluctantly) gave men over to their own desires. And how does Romans 1 end? In a cesspool. The entire chapter is a downward spiral into this, what I like to call “The Cesspool at the end of the Slide:
Romans 1: 28 – 32: “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decrees that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
Children’s Hospital is man’s desperate (and well-intentioned) attempt to fix the most grotesque part of this cesspool: dying children. I commend these doctors and nurses. They’re awesome. I just hate that they are necessary, that man has made them necessary. These children are caught up in man’s way and they are dying as a result.
But . . . Christ has risen from this cesspool with healing in His wings. At our lowest point, neck deep in the feces, Christ came, right into our own filth, into the cesspool. He didn’t just stand off to the side and say that He had a life-preserver – He entered in. He got neck deep with us. The Word became flesh and dwelt among men, declaring that this will be the end of man’s way. He will reclaim His children and He will heal them. HE is the manifestation of God’s way.
That’s the true story of Christmas. The end of man’s way. It makes me love my Savior even more than I thought was possible.