This morning our valley is laced with frost, and the hills shed into an alabaster sky. When she awakens, the sun’s touch is like Midas and the meadow shimmers with pearly gold.
How rich we are.
The hardest of things are just a wee bit easier to bear when the golden touch of love breaks through white grief. So we try to be good friends. And we open our arms and our doors and our hearts to help in the hefting.
And on a rainy day in February we stand in the garden with he and his family and listen to the priest proclaim a life blessed, watch as he lifts his arm to heaven and commits this soul to our good God.
I study the cluster of colorful umbrellas bundled close in front of me and I wonder how we navigate this thing. How I always say the wrong the things and despite the tangled tongue how grief is a stitch that binds us together in the hem of life. The thread is pulled tighter here in the garden.
How do we do this? How do we journey over the rugged landscape of sorrow?
I remember David Brooks and the story he gives about the gobiid fish.
These tiny fish live in shallow tidal pools and they are known for navigating during low tide by jumping from pool to pool. Scientists have been amazed at the accuracy with which this little fish is able to traverse its environment. Their precision is astonishing considering they have no way of seeing where each tidal pool is. What is happening, Brooks tells us, is that during high tide the gobiid fish wander around absorbing the landscape and storing maps in their heads. Then when the tide is low, they have a mental map of the landscape, and they unconsciously know what ridges will be dry at low tide and what hollows will be full of water.
Human beings are good at accumulating this sort of wanderer’s knowledge as well, Brooks says.
And I think about the landscape of grief—how the touch of a hand, a cheek pressed against a cheek—how these things have traversed the long road of time.
And plunging into grief can feel like this faith-jumping—taking flight with only a memory to guide.
But the Lord inhabits the prayers of His people and we land in the soft water of His love.
And as we file back into the church—me, bare-headed in the rain—I notice that the pointy finger of the daffodils are breaking through the wet soil.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
* Today I’m also reflecting on The Social Animal by David Brooks as part the book club at The High Calling.
The Playdates button: