This morning, it is crisp and cold. A wintry sort of day. One of my morning’s readings laying open to Faber speaking of “serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.”
Impaled by this truth, I take a drink from my glass of kefir. Its sour, sweetness tangy on my tongue. I chase it with a mouthful of stiff, black coffee. I like the way the two flavors contrast each other.
Two thoughts mix as they swirl in my mind, the life we drink common and yet uncommon. Brimming with the mundane, full of perplexity…sometimes sweet, sometimes poignantly bitter. Sometimes so full of meaning and purpose…at others seemingly empty and futile.
I think of a conversation I had last night. About grief and how it tears us down and empties us, leaving us with all kinds of questions that no one can answer. I read a blog about a woman who lost her son to a disease that is incurable, him just three.
She, not a God fearer, wrestling out her emotions the best she can. The futility and pain tearing her apart bit by bit.
Futility looks for meaning. Isn’t this the universal struggle?
And I remember being where she is, without faith, facing grief.
I remember my own dark valley when my two grandfathers passed away, not a week apart. On opposing branches of our divorced family tree, one my dad’s dad, the other my mom’s grandfather. Both had been unceremoniously pruned, leaving indelible wounds.
Shaken by the blows, I had little to no faith and found it all pointless. I was fifteen or so and had just started smoking.
Fast forward two decades to another year of double blows, a miscarriage, a grandmother.
The futility no longer present, this time I possess a knowledge that He, the God I now have faith in, is using it all for good. He gives it meaning.
In some inexplicable equation He transforms loss to hope. Grief to deep joy. Weakness to undefinable strength.
No matter how hard I may try to see things the way I used to, there has been a searing within me that has altered my growth. This spiritual grafting that enables me to believe it is the way He says it is.
Another of my morning’s readings lays open in His word to Psalm 119: 140, “Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.”
His promise that nothing is futile and that in fact, this present pain will pass away into an all-encompassing eternity. I do love that.