The Scripture Scout
Life is a Weird Adventure
Thoughts on "Splashville 2010"
I do love life. This might seem an odd statement coming from me right now because yes, I wish I could run far far away, yes, I feel like the losses are compounding instead of diminishing, and yes, my heart has been broken into more pieces than the shards of my home strewn about the ‘ghetto yard sale’ on our front lawn. But life is a weird adventure that frequently requires moments, often very long moments, of severe disquiet to remind us of our mortality, to tap into the essence of what it truly means to be human, and to teach us hard lessons on how to become a good one. There is profound beauty in that.
My husband said that fifteen years ago water washed away his future and last month it washed away his past. This has reminded us of our mortality and that there is only ever always, The Now. Author Paul Tillich proclaimed that we live in a state of mystery, of unknowing. We have the present; and even more, we have our future as well because we anticipate it in the present. We have our past because we remember it in the present. In the present, our future and our past are ours. Sounds confusing? It is. And we often make it more so with our anxiety and fear. But now … well, now is eternal. And we have seen eternity, “The Now,” in the eyes of the people who love us, who make up our little corner of the human race.
To me there is profound beauty in the amazing people in our lives who have proved that “church” is not a noun, its a verb, AND it extends far outside the confines of theological tradition because many of our friends don't “go to church," many do, whatever. But every one of them has been a real example of a living, breathing body of action. Currently David and I are the backup dancers in MJ’s Thriller video, zombies somehow doing the choreography with no brain or usefulness to speak of. We are still forgetting conversations we've had or things we've needed to do … and though we've allowed ourselves to grieve we are constantly fighting back a flood of emotion so that we can get something done. Our friends and family, our “church,” have functioned in our stead … as our brains to organize, our arms to work, our legs to run errands, our hands to dig, our feet to stomp in anger, our mouths to express our speechlessness, and our hearts to grieve often as intensely as we feel.I was talking to one of those people yesterday as I was mourning the terribly untimely passing of our beloved dog. Jaynee Williams reminded me that it is profound love and grief which not only make us human but if we keep perspective, make us more caring and authentic individuals; useful and compassionate to everyone we touch from now on. Life situations that are not looked at square in the face have the tendency to nab us from behind and tear us down and it is the unknown tomorrow that is the source of our daily anxiety if we let it be that. And that is why I am going to sit here and say right now that holding our beautiful,m sweet companion as he breathed his last was a beautiful moment, boating up to our own front door was a beautiful moment, hearing the doctor say there is no heartbeat was a beautiful moment, and hearing my husband have to be the one to tell me for the fourth time someone in my life whom I loved dearly had passed on were also beautiful moments.If the saying that “life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away,” is a true one, then my measuring cup runneth over. I am human and I am mortal, but I have seen eternity in the love of my friends, crazy devotion from family, and real beauty in the fathoms of loss. However, my desire, no, my plan is to take these terrible shards of disquiet and paste them tenderly into a life mosaic that exudes a unique beauty and makes me a more authentic human being.
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