Saturday, July 13, 2013

heavy for my friends

I was born to laugh
 I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear

Some friends are burying their Dad young today. The son plans to stand tall, sing and play guitar; I find that unspeakably brave. Other friends sit with a swiftly passing mother, shortly after their precious daughter was stillborn. Still.

Oh, there have been desperate prayers going up all around. Prayers for things to change, for what we see to not be so. And how can you not? You're stunned and you whisper it wasn't supposed to be this way. And my beautiful friends have something I do not- they pray the deepest hopes of their hearts. There are things I simply cannot bring my heart to ask for, but they can. I think, how can you not, but still I cannot. And so we take our shifts. We watch out for each other. And on a summer evening, we hush babies and cross our legs and sing Lord the dark is creeping in, is creeping up to swallow me, I think I'll stop and rest here awhile. 

We don't have to say any of the right things, and this is grace. We pray what hopes we can. There are times for theological questions, but now is not one of them. Now is the time to lean up against this force you can't make much sense of and find rest.

And another brave soul, she's reeling from a diagnosis that changes so much of what she hoped for. But I see my friends making these choices in the midst of their pain, choices that bring lightness and life into such dark places. I think, I want to be more like them.

Pour me a glass of wine
talk deep into the night
who knows what we'll find?

Intuition, déjà vu
the Holy Ghost haunting you
whatever you got, I don't mind

Two nights after this precious baby was born and snuggled and already called home, I assist with a delivery that's elegant in its simplicity. All is well, and so we leave mama and baby skin to skin with a big warm blanket covering them; we step out to let them have this time they worked so hard for. My heart is light in those moments; I'm nothing but happy for them. There is a process of thought beyond that which I simply cannot bear now.

Souls are born, souls die, some souls are in an in-between place. I suppose it lightens the load if you can think of life as a continuum. Not here and gone; just early or farther along. But still, we want to be at the same place with those we love; we want to walk along together. Isn't it what we were made for?

Put your elbows on the table
I will listen long as I am able
there's nowhere I'd rather be

My friend and I, we cry and process together, we talk about thin spaces and she tells me of the moment she held this precious baby and the veil between our world and the other was simply not there for a moment. How it was sacred, how it was an honor. Too much, almost. Too holy.

I know my Redeemer lives, maybe only because of those breaks in the veil. We know in our marrow, it wasn't supposed to be this way. And yet we know how to find beauty and hold on to it for dear life.


*lyrics from Born by Over the Rhine and All I Can Say by David Crowder Band

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