Out on the deck this morning I can see a young couple in the pool and I am momentarily distracted. I read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:16.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”I’m glad the ESV retained that familiar phrase: The weight of glory. Unseen. Incomparable. Eternal. More than just a figure of speech, I like to think that Glory has Mass. Volume. Weight.
I’m thinking on this as I reflect on Dad. I helped him into the car yesterday morning to drive him to Sunway for his appointment with Dr Robert Jalleh and it is obvious he is looking even more feeble than before. More frail than he ever was since he fell ill. Yes, his jaws are still set tightly with the determined look of a man unaccustomed to weakness. I see his slightly gnarled fingers grip the rail, trembling, as he walked gingerly down the stairs. I held him under his arm and led him to the car. He said, "Feel weak."
At Sunway, I pushed a wheelchair to Dad and he sat himself down; the effort left him a little breathless. His shoulders are hunched now, eyes looking ahead yet not looking, while he held to on his x-rays and dignity. We waited for Albert and talked about the MRR, Sunny in Bangkok, Rosalind, and for a while he was normal again.
I’m thinking of Anita Brookner’s Visitors. It’s a bleak look at age and loneliness, reminiscence and introspection.
What does Dad think about, I wonder. What would I be thinking if I were in that wheelchair? We’re possible gods and goddesses masked in flesh and bones. We’re under a spell yet, and it seems the only weight we feel is the ravages of time. God, wake us up.