Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life Happens...

The best-laid plans...why do they do often go astray? Perhaps to remind us that, in the long haul of things, life is not in our control... that things happen- like snowstorms and respiratory viruses...like the death of a beloved son and the birthday of another. In spite of my best intentions to do the daily yoga challenge during Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, here I am on Sunday with nothing begun. Yet looking out the window yesterday, seeing the winds pulling the trees this way and that, I realized...I realize that this IS life...this buffeting, this being tossed, this having to respond to happenings rather than controlling them. And it is, after all, our response to what happens that determines who we are, who we will become.

Exactly nineteen years ago, my life was devastated by a single phone call telling me of the death of my oldest son...and for nearly two years I was "dead"...inside nothing lived- or so it seemed. Oh, I funtioned, went through the motions, kept putting one foot in front of the other, doing the day-to-day things which had to be done, but inside, I was dead, entombed- and there were days when all I wanted to do was lie down, close my eyes, and never get up again.

But resurrection happens...the seed buried in the dark ground slowly begins to grow until, one day, the green sprout emerges into the sunlight, nurtured into life by the warmth of love and need and purpose...a young son needing his mother; two grown children who had already lost a father, facing the fear of being orphaned; a small, struggling congregation needing a shepherd...and new, renewed life began to happen.

Each year, though the darkness returns at the end of February- if I am to be sick, this is when it happens (like this week's upper respiratory virus)- it is admittedly and blessedly shorter and with less emotional wrenching as time passes, but present nevertheless. And I have learned to dwell in it, to accept it without fear, certain that I am not in the darkness alone but am accompanied- by my loving, beloved children, by my caring and ever-present friends, by my extended family, and by a Compassionate God who knows the pain of losing a beloved child.

Life happens.
Death happens.
Resurrection happens.
             Thanks be to God!


CARL ALLEN SUTTON, JR.
Aug. 31, 1964- Feb. 26, 1993


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