Thursday, November 20, 2014

Broken little hearts

I am thinking a lot today about life and death, love and longing, precious memories and memories that won't ever be made. I'm trying to negotiate some understanding out of something that can never be understood. To make sense out of the senseless. I want things to be OK that can never be OK.

We lost a member of our congregation early this morning, and the hole he leaves in the fabric of the parish is huge and gaping. He was 31 years old and had been  married only a year. We lost him to a virulent cancer that took him only 5 months after diagnosis. The parish (not to mention his wife and the rest of his family) is devastated.

I'm also angry. As a person with a lot of my life behind me, I want to ask God what he thinks he's doing, taking a young person in the prime of life. I feel like breaking a few things, stomping my feet, and having a good cry. Actually, I had the good cry already.

Did I mention that I'm angry? Well, I am. Don't worry, God can take it. Remember the Psalms of lamentation?The Israelites had no trouble speaking up when they felt abandoned by God.

And yet I believe, at the same time I'm fighting through anger, that God doesn't cause cancer -- or tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, car accidents, or any of the other natural evils that kill people. In the 15th verse of Psalm 116, the Psalmist writes: "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones."

So I'm trying to believe that God grieves when we grieve, that he can bring some good out of any desperately awful thing that happens.

But today we have a whole parish of broken little hearts, hearts that won't be better any time soon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The big chill is coming

Our theme today, Gentle Reader, is the weather, as we apparently rush towards winter. We had rain for several days, leaving everything saturated and squishy, and the leaf-covered streets are perfect for accidents.. Not much raking has yet been done in my neighborhood, so the yards are also a carpet of no-longer-vibrant leaves. Some have curled into little dead cups, now filled with rainwater, tiny little ponds in the sun.

Dark comes early now with the return to standard time. After a temporary time-change reprieve, we will soon be rising in the darkness again, as well as finishing work after the sun has set. 

Doesn't one of our canticles name this the "enfolding dark"?  I don't feel enfolded. I feel benighted!

And now, thanks to former-Typhoon Nuri, the weather folks are promising us a big shot of very cold air intruding behind a sagging jet stream. Thanks, it's just what I wanted! My body is already telling me, "Don't bother getting any exercise. You really want to hibernate. Let's wake up about the end of March." Does this mean I can first bulk up on carbs? Because that's the other thing my nady wants right now.

And to make things even cheerier? No furniture on the whole first floor. All of it is sitting in a Pod on the driveway, as we prepare for the floor refinishers later this week. I have a nice fireplace that works, but nowhere to sit. I suppose the dogs and I could lie on a blanket before the fire, on the hard, hard, hardwood floor. Or ... I could do that hibernation thing! 

Pounds of pasta first, then a good long sleep. What's not to like?