Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some Clear Joy is Coming

Today marks the end of a long, hard week. Moments of agonizing frustration, of world-weariness, and a sense of loss have taken their place, irreconcilably, alongside moments of unexpected and unbridled joy: A brother at war sends home a troubling note. Audrey tip-taps down the hallway reciting, "Toe-heel! Toe-heel!" An article in the paper tells of a 70-year-old Polish-American who died in the plane crash along with the Polish President. He was killed on his way to achieving his life's dream: to commemorate the Katyn Massacre, which claimed his father's life. I look up from the paper: a vision of red-and-white stripes scampers past me through the kitchen; then sounds of shrieking laughter, of Dutch shouting in his most carnivorous bear voice, "I'm gonna snuggle you into the ground!" A phone call: Dutch, are you free to say a few words at the funeral? Evangeline takes her first steps - one, two, three, four in a row! Oh, how we applaud!

This - this comingling of joy and pain, beauty and horror, laughter and grief - is life, after all, but all I could do, this evening, was shake my head and stand back in bafflement, a fearsome (and even fearful) sense of awe.

It was then I read the resurrected Christ's first words to His disciples when He appeared in their midst: "Peace be with you!" he says (John 21.20). "My peace I leave with you." It would seem empty consolation indeed if not for the fact that Christ's death accomplished just that: Peace. Peace between God and man. Peace where there should be separation. Peace where there should be only wrath.

Now, because of the propitious death of Jesus Christ, we who were once far off have been brought near. A way stands open for us, a door that no one can close, to approach the living God of the Universe and plead for mercy and help in times of need.

And so Christ says to Mary Magdalene as she sits weeping outside His empty tomb, "Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20.17). His words prove that we who were once only sinners, worthy of destruction, are now Sons, destined for glory; our Savior is our brother and He lives this moment at the right hand of the throne of God, praying for us. We may have trouble - now and always; but we have nothing to fear for our Sanctifier is our Friend; and before He ascended into Heaven He promised us, "Lo, I will be with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28.20).


Lucas said...

I stumbled this way and have been pleasantly surprised and amazed. This mixture of prose and pictures has brightened my evening. Thank you.

Moyra Scott said...

awe beauty horror joy this is life. I think that too.