Yesterday at 4:44p.m. EDT, the fall equinox heralded the official
arrival of autumn. I'm not at all sure of how this precise time was
determined; I only know that here in my part of Carolina, it was
a marvelous, glorious, beautiful day...Carolina-blue skies, bright
sunshine, and clear, cool air. It could not have been more perfect,
Yesterday was the funeral of a former parishioner and long-time
friend of mine. Her untimely death on Wednesday came as the
result of a traffic accident, caused by a man- under the influence
of prescription drugs and driving without a license- running a
stop sign and plowing into her minivan. Both Teresa and her
little dog were killed; the man was not- and though he has been
charged with three or four felonies, that is small comfort to the
family and friends of this life-filled, vibrant woman.
When will we ever learn, I wonder, that an automobile is a lethal
weapon in the wrong hands? That drugs, including those both
legal and illegal, those ingested in pill or liquid or powder form,
simply do not mix with the act of getting behind the wheel of a
car. Of course, the reality is that anyone taking drugs of any
kind may have their common sense so impaired that they have
no real conception of the risk they are taking with their behavior.
Kind of a Catch-22, isn't it? and more than a little scary...
especially since it can have such far-reaching and long-lasting
consequences...like those I witnessed yesterday afternoon.
Which is how life is, I guess. Beauty interposed with tragedy...
death in the midst of life...a gorgeous harvest moon shedding its
light on a weeping mother...a funeral on a gorgeous Carolina day.
And this is the bottom-line message of the Christian faith to
which I adhere: the oxy-moronic truth of the grace-filled presence
of God in the midst of all of life...birth, death, resurrection, new life...
pain and pleasure, beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow...and the
promise that it all continues, cycle after cycle...eternally, un-ending,
world without end. Let it be so...