This week I held a 3 day old baby in my arms. She was miniature perfection, a bundle of hope and joy, made of love – so light and yet so weighty – created from the stuff of past generations and full of life’s potential, a pointer to the future. She will see things I will not see.
Yesterday I went to the funeral of an old friend. She did not even reach 60. Her life and achievements were laid out before us, along with the body in the coffin. Her 4 children and 3 grandchildren carry on her memory, her grieving husband and many friends honour and celebrate all she invested in us. She played a big part in many lives, bringing wisdom, healing and love. Every individual counts!
Yesterday too, it was my husband’s 55th birthday. That is a life marker to celebrate! 5 grace gifts to the church and 5 loaves broken with a couple of fish to feed a multitude… His life is full of those gifts and that kind of sacrifice. 5 foolish virgins who fall asleep unprepared and 5 wise virgins – who also fall asleep! – but are found to be ready when the moment comes… At this stage of life it is a good idea to ask which group I am in! Double grace for this coming year, Martin. Heaven knows you need it!
Today we attend the long-awaited wedding of a young couple in the church: a day of joy and fulfilment! How wonderful to have witnessed their journey through chronic illness and testing, via real love and faithfulness and some serious decisions taken, to this point of commitment to a new future together: I am thrilled to be celebrating with them today. What a huge life-marker as the covenant is made to walk the rest of it together, ‘for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death us do part’.
These are the joys and sorrows of life, the realities of death – a chance to consider where we are on our own journey. “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90v12
Peace to the grieving and much hope and joy to all our hearts today. After all, at the end of the age everyone is invited to the best Wedding ever!
In a moment…
The earth will move a little bit left,
Then the sun will appear
From behind the roof and the racing clouds,
To warm me and light up my life again.
I love the brightness – unexpected joy,
Sharp contrasts, dark and light,
Like a smile from heaven
Or a sudden kiss before the day departs.
All around the October wind blows, testing its strength.
It makes a sound, embracing all that yields.
It moves me.
Seasons change with no help from anyone
Time passes, leaves fall…
Stand and look, examine your ways,
“Before the silver cord is severed and the golden bowl broken”
The movements of the earth,
The journey so far,
And the path ahead, as light fades.
If I knew I only had a few weeks left
What would I do?
How to complete or prepare?
Everything would be changed…
In a moment.
The poem Mortality was first posted on the Stories from the Street website on 25/10/09