Life. My life . Our lives. They are picking up speed – so it seems. Can’t believe the brevity of our days. The foggy blur of the leap from birthday to birthday. The seeds of anxiety which blossom ferociously in my soul. Questioning time left, priorities, and the swarming lack of certainty.
I wonder out loud. I ask often about the point. The purpose. The meaning. The rhyme and the reason. There is less clarity, and a mushrooming mystery. I feel confident it is indeed all tied to love somehow, and yet I find the loving harder and harder to do and be.
I resist loving. I try on occasion. I really do. A few times I explode with it. I have no idea why it's so hard to forgive, or why I still can be so jealous, or how it is that I still want to poke out the speck in my neighbor’s eye. Am I really that predictable? Is that the sum of being human?
I find Christ more compelling than ever. This wild story of irrational love. A bloated tale of unearned Grace. A coming of eternity saga. How he simply lived it. Walked it. Trusted his God so fully. Lost all fear. Would not follow the world one more step. Became not simply the image of God, but the actual reflection.
I wish I turned to Christ more. Moved more easily in his direction. Sat at his feet. Let his spirit wash over me. So that experiencing waves of being beloved, might free me to unleash the love -- I know in my soul, which lies within me.
It is so utterly stupidly simple. We are here to love. We are here to be Christ. We have little time. But we busy ourselves with matters which are so ridiculously silly. We worry endlessly about money and reputation and popularity and climbing the ladder and winning and being known and noticed. In calmer moments, we claim the truth that all of Life is just the receiving of the gift. Life requires no other achievement than the embracing of the day.
My mind jumbles and races. My fears play tricks, and are like ants in my pants. I sweat the small stuff big time. I try to figure out the riddle which is not a riddle. I know I am often the punch line of the joke. The joke is on and in me. I am a man of faith with just a trace of belief. I have my moments though. Like this one. It happened last night.
I sat in my Lazy-Boy next to Patty in hers. It was 3:15 a.m. We were listening to nature’s music from our TV. It was called “The Melody of Wind”. Patty doesn't snore, she purrs. I watched her breathing. It was good to see her body at peace, the ragged edges of pain smoothed.
I thought about all that once was. Her belly laughs. Her flurries of cleaning and cooking and enjoying clans of conversation. Her delight in long lazy drives, and finding dives with great food. Her enjoyment of holidays, and her raucous need to make all birthdays giggly and girly.
It felt so long ago. Carefree days. Times when we dreamed daily of the joy to be found in skipping “school” for a day. Being truant. Chasing beauty all about, and refusing to be even remotely responsible. Where did it go? How did all that gusto evaporate? Who could have predicted the paralyzing numbness of these days of late? How could her rotting health have swallowed our lives whole?
Then she awoke. Her eyes like ice. Such pale pale blue. Her skin still so pearly, as is her hair. She asked me, “What?” I told her, “Nothing, just enjoying the view.” She said, “That is a sweet thing to say.” I told her I did my best. And I did and do. Most times, that is. She fell back to sleep.
It was nice to be nice. It felt good to be kind. At least I can be that. A bit kinder. And so, I sought sleep. Hoping that tomorrow, I would continue to try and be a little bit kinder. It was the least I could do, and I knew Christ would agree.
I think I fell asleep around five a.m.. The last thing I remember was just the slightest piece of pale pink grey light, and the landing of the Journal Times outside my door.
This Life of ours. It isn’t rocket science. It isn’t Trivial Pursuit. It certainly is not a climb up a ladder to nowhere but a despairing fall. It is merely the sacred opportunity to let our poor hearts break a little. A broken heart remains the divine remnant of a life well lived. The single sign of having heard the Word, and become the echo.
I snore. I can’t hear myself snore, but I can feel the rumble. I know that I am capable of waking the dead. My dreams are full of them – the dead. They cartwheel about, and occupy a place of reverence and intrigue. My sleep is like a tornado. It leaves a distinct trail of damage, and a vast area of the night which is left shockingly untouched.
As I tumble into sleep. I can hear my heart plead for the power of mercy, and I realize that Christ is about. All about. The all of it. And that is it. I am finally. Soundly. Sleeping.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.