Things that Break
March 12, 2015, 3:19 PM

This entry is from the E-Pistle for March 12-25.

Things that break

Eggshells.  Dishes.  Engines.  Hearts.  Just a few days ago, a woman that I first met when we both joined the Foreign Service back in 1985, and went through training together, died from cancer.  She was younger than I am. 

If you were in church last Sunday, you know that another friend died last week – a frequent visitor to the office, usually in need of a small loan and always in need of a kind exchange.

Earlier this year, we laid one of our long-term parishioners to rest.

And in just another two weeks, it will have been ten years to the day since my dad – the first of my immediate family – breathed his last while picking up the mail from the box at the end of the driveway.

Death is always a shock.  Even when we know it is inevitable, it never seems like it’s going to happen to someone we know, and we won’t know what it feels like until it actually does.

And then, perhaps, we don’t know what we feel.  I experienced grief, the first time around, as being akin to a new spice that I was required to put into every dish I cooked, like some kind of bitter pepper.  It was sharp and it was distasteful and it soured everything with which it came in contact. 

Every death makes our world smaller, every death of someone we have known and cared about puts a hole in our world, and a crack in our heart.

But if we bleed, it means we have blood in our veins.  If we weep, it means we have pain in our hearts, and if we have pain in our hearts it is because we have had love in them.

And in fact, it means we still do have love in them.

The disciples and all who followed and loved Jesus must have felt this pain and wept these tears, but can you imagine if he had never arisen?  That hole in our world would have been too large for anyone but God to fill, and that is what God has done for us. 

In the end, it is God who fills all the holes in our hearts, our lives, and our very selves.  This is God’s grace and gift, that though we die, we shall yet live.