The Ping-Pong of Hope

It has been a month since the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared off the radar screens of air traffic control. With its 239 passengers and crew missing and presumed dead, its disappearance has become the greatest unsolved mystery in the history of flight. For the last two weeks air and naval vessels from a cadre of nations have been combing the south Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia for any sign, any clue at all regarding the missing airliner. Satellite images of out of focus flotsam on the sea have sent search teams scrambling to confirm potential evidence. But thus far no confirmation. No physical evidence that could bring a modicum of comfort or even closure to the families of the missing. Nothing except an erratic and occasional “ping,” which, authorities say, could possibly be the underwater pulse emitted by an airliner’s black box communication recording devise. But like the satellite images, the recent spate of pings has yet to prove conclusive. And so the world waits and the families pray. As I have brooded over this unfolding story and—as is characteristic of this blog site—looked for a “connect” between the headlines and life as we live it today, it has occurred to me that in some mysterious sense the underwater pings are a metaphor of the resurrection. And by that I don’t mean that this airliner full of men, women and children, buried in the depths of the ocean, is a symbol of all the dead who await the resurrection the Bible promises at the end of time. With Easter only a few days away, that promise of hope would certainly be worthy of our reflection. But rather, could it be those intermittent pings can represent an even more stunning truth? The quiet truth that the Father of the universe, the Creator of this errant planet, itself wildly and erratically far far off its intended divine flight plan—could it be that God Himself hears what no other ear can hear—the faint, intermittent pings emitting from a billion fresh and ancient graves the world over—silent pings that mark the patches of earth and sea under which lie the remains of earth children who sought His salvation? To our broken hearts what seems so cruelly stolen from us in death is not lost to Him. Because what “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard” is seen and heard by the Christ who yet cries out, “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). In vain we search for the one who no longer is in our arms, whose breath we feel upon our cheeks no more—lost and gone, our sobs confess. But on this week before Easter, let every heart remember that what the ear cannot hear He can. Wild and stunning truth more glorious than before, God can hear the “ping of hope.” And our dead are not lost to Him. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen.”

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