Monday, May 31, 2010

Sharp Contrast

Sometimes, life is harsh ~ and I admit ~ it is difficult to see a redeeming path through suffering.

Quite honestly, I have found that redeeming the future requires a conscious effort to look for beauty amid the sharp contrast of pain; to look for a glimpse of hope in the middle of despair.

As Tony worked in the yard this morning, he noticed some new blooms.  He called for me to come and see "something beautiful, absolutely beautiful."

There in our small cactus garden was beauty ~ in sharp contrast.  It would be so easy to miss these tiny flowers, unless your eyes were trained to look for beauty, even in the unexpected places.

Oh that we may train our eyes to see a redeeming path, in sharp contrast, to the pain and suffering that comes our way.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Healing Place

It’s Mother’s Day, and it has been an emotional day. Grief is an unpredictable companion along life's journey.

We had a lovely day together as a family. The guys and the grandchildren fixed a scrumptious dinner for us, and we finished off the day with fresh strawberry shortcake.  But even as I celebrated with my daughter, Amy and her sweet family, I found myself thinking about how many should be sitting around our family's table. I wondered what this day would be like if Scott had not died. Especially today, I found myself longing to feel his hug one.more.time.

Yet, with this burden of grief, my heart finds comfort tonight in the imagery of Psalm 85:10.  There the psalmist speaks of a healing place where “Mercy and Truth have met each other: Justice and Peace have kissed.”

Each element ~ truth, justice, mercy, and peace ~ brings perspective and potential for experiencing peace with loss.

For those who grieve, Truth is about what to remember and how to remember. Truth casts her eyes toward the past, remembers the way it was before the loss, and underscores the value of treasuring my relationship with Scott. Justice is about what can be done now to restore wholeness in my life and renew the relationship that has been forever changed by death. Justice looks at the present and recognizes the full weight of grief. I am so thankful the psalmist did not stop with Truth and Justice, but included Mercy and Peace.

For Mercy and Peace look to the future and help me consider ~
How can I live without Scott in my life?
How can I transform my relationship with Scott from one of presence to one of memory?
Yes, Mercy and Peace gaze toward the future and what life can and will be like as a result of this loss.

I love the way John Paul Lederach writes about this imagery in his book, The Journey Toward Reconciliation ~
For Truth without Mercy is blinding and raw; Mercy without Truth is a cover-up and superficial. Justice without Peace falls easily into cycles of bitterness and revenge; Peace without Justice is short-lived and benefits only the privileged or the victors.
As another Mother's Day comes to a close, I recognize that along my journey of grief some days will be harder than others. Some days will scream for Truth and Justice. I am also aware that there is a healing place where the reality of my loss is embraced by Mercy and transformed by Peace.

And for that, I am ever so grateful.