There was another stabbing in our neighborhood this week.
It was messy; messy enough that I asked Stephen, “Is he alive? Will he be alive by the time we get to the hospital? Do we try to call an ambulance?”
Because of where his house was situated, we didn’t really have that option. Instead, he was carried in a sarong-turned-stretcher, over a bamboo bridge and through a community, into the front seat of our car.
It was like a horror film in many ways. And then it got into our car.
As I squeezed in the back—literally in the fetal position because of where I ended up—with two friends of his, he leaned on Stephen and moaned as we drove to the hospital.
The words of O Come, O Come Emmanuel were in my head, so I started singing them to myself for sanity. And since our car is so ridiculously loud—or because all of the men in the car besides Stephen were inebriated—I didn’t even get an odd stare for my singing.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
And as I listened to his moaning, this seemed such a fitting prayer. Emmanuel, come be with us. Ransom US: captive to groaning, captive to sin, captive to brokenness.
It was also a good reminder of the call to rejoice. While it is a prayer for Emmanuel to come, it is also a statement of truth: He IS coming. He WILL ransom us. He IS with us. Let us rejoice until he appears!
In recent years, I have wondered often if adulthood just meant more awareness of sadness and brokenness. But really I think it just means feeling all the more. Yes, it is discovering more pain and more sorrows, but it is also discovering new depths of love. It is discovering a hope that burns beyond words. It is rejoicing while you wait for humanity’s promise to be fulfilled.