I get here. I get to this place where good things happen and I feel like I’m finally finding my footing again. And then there comes another blow, taking my wind, my breath, my air. So I fall, gasp, flail. Here I have another battle, more to wrestle with, the same things in new and unfamiliar forms. Here is everything I feel and have felt before, but put together in new ways and twisted with just a little more spite. I did not have words then,and I am further from finding them now. But everything I feel runs deeper, a wound opened afresh, gouged a bit more, prodded to let loose a rush of blood. Death has an ugly way of taking the life out of you.
A wonderful woman, teacher, and mentor to me lost her mother last night. I know how important it was for her to be there, in those last moments. I know it will be one of the most bittersweet moments that she will come to accept and maybe even cherish. She is a strong woman who has been through many a hell, a woman I admire greatly, a woman I consider a mother to me. And she is a woman that is hurting.
I’m filled with some sort of anger, outrage, at all of this. All of this death, all of this pain, all of this hurting for so many people I love and care about. It seems there is no way around this. I cannot harden my heart and leave the ones I love to travel their roads alone. I cannot somehow petition a Cosmic Force to cause all this death and violence and pain to cease. I would to God that I could, that it would stop, that all this could be taken away. It is hard for me to live broken, in this body and in this mind and in this world, because I know what it’s all supposed to look like when it’s whole. Sometimes knowing the way it should be, the way it one day will be, is only an enraging inconvenience. I crave whole-ness. Not perfection, but completeness. I wish to not be lacking.
These things are promised, in time, and my job is faithfulness–to hold fast my hope, anchored by my faith. It’s not so easy, when so many people are dying and everyone I know is in so much pain, and I physically long for things to be made right. I get frustrated and angry, I want to give up on this so-called God. But if I did, I would have to give up the promises. Without the promises, this would all truly be lost. Death and pain–these I must wrestle with over and over again. I’m not saying I deal with death well, because I don’t. I know I don’t. But every time someone has died–and I have been affected by a lot of deaths–it has afforded an opportunity for me to grow, to wrestle, to struggle and figure out what it is I believe. And in the end, I cling tighter to my hope, I set my faith-anchor firm.
No matter how dark this world gets, my faith is all I have to hold on to. It’s the only way all of this makes sense, has meaning. No matter how much I long for all to be made right, for all this pain to cease immediately, I know that it won’t happen. There is a greater journey here, a journey that is on a larger scale than all of us but includes and involves each of our own individual journeys. For now, I must live broken. But I don’t do this on my own, with no hope. I live broken but already being made whole. I am complete, but not yet. Eternity is intertwined into the present, and all this that we see now looks very different from the future or from the past. Time is tricky.
Today I am not grateful for the pain, the darkness, in and of itself. I think there is nothing good in death for those that are left behind. It’s bad, it’s horrible, and it shouldn’t happen. There is an inordinate amount of pain and sorrow and utter agony where death has visited, finger cold, breast hollow. I wish not to be carried away on that wind tonight; I wish not to be rocked to sleep in that cruel cradle. If death must be had, if this pain and all this grief, then I am grateful for the promise of salvation. I’m grateful for the Rescuer, who has given life where there was none, both already and not yet. I am living broken, in a dying body and world, but I am not dead. No matter how much it feels like I am, I am not dead. I cling desperately to my hope, my faith, instead. If not thankful to survive, I am at least thankful that I will find release from this pain, when it is my time.
Until We Are Complete,