Thursday, May 30, 2013

Facing The Day

My daughter and I were zooming up the highway to a favorite shopping outlet. Cars in all lanes traveling at maximum speed. It was impossible to move in any direction when we approached the little animal in the very center of our lane. Lying on his back, legs quivering, he had already been stunned by one driver, and now I would barely miss him. But we  knew his life was in jeopardy and the road he planned to cross became his deathbed.
Death is part of daily life. It seems I attend a memorial service once a week. Over and over, I am reminded that I believe in the resurrection, new life, and an eternal home with Jesus Christ, my Savior. I affirm my trust in a place where there will be no more suffering or death, crying or grief.  I sing songs about the "great cloud of witnesses" and feel a longing in my very soul for that time that is not for me - not yet. I must carry on with my fellow sojourners, loving my family and neighbors, and feeling joy in the midst of the daily-ness of living, loving, and  letting go. Celebration and sorrow all mixed up together. As Thomas aKempis says in his book The Imitation of Christ, " Love is devoted and grateful to God, always trusting and hoping in Him, even when it does not taste God's sweetness. There is not love where there is not sorrow."
And then I hear of a child who has relapsed with cancer and then I really have to look for God's sweetness. As her loving and hopeful father lamented, "She should be swimming and riding her bike, going to camp, and playing with her brother." Instead, she must face more treatments in far-off places. She must retreat from the child's world of play to a more serious and somber world of work with doctors, medicines, and treatments. But she will know that love abounds as her hurting parents do all they can to help her in her work. Love and sorrow all mixed up together.
And I guess that's what keeps us going. We help each other in our work. We attend a memorial service. Or we attend a wedding. We gather as friends to pray and remember and rejoice. We bake banana bread and write the note. We bring a gift. We offer a listening ear to someone who needs to talk - about their joy or their sorrow. And it is in the mixed up daily-ness of joys and sorrows, we face each day and live with one another.
How are you doing?