2014-03-12 - A Different After-School Special
When we lived in Penn Hills, Pa I was in elementary school. I had a basic routine, and I remember only some of it, all these years later. I walked to school, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch each day, and after I returned home, Mom would make me a snack of some sort. On this one particular day in February, when I was eleven, I came home as per usual - and took the steps of our split-level home, two at a time, before then seeing Mom's face as she stood in the kitchen. She didn't seem her usual self, as she met me at the edge of the kitchen at the top of the steps. She was preoccupied, so I asked her what was wrong. Isn't it funny how there can be so many memories of our childhood and adulthood that somehow disappear altogether, and then there are others that stay in there forever? Each specific detail of what you said and what the weather was like, or even a smell that triggers an entire recall of a day? She told me that my Aunt Darlene had just died. I felt like the air had been let out of my lungs, as I asked her what happened. She immediately told me that she had been in a car accident. The next week or so was a rather surreal series of events.
I learned, in the course of the next week or so, that life can change in an instant. It was instantly that my Mom lost her best friend, the same friend that she went to the beach with while both pregnant with their first child. It was the first time I ever saw her cry in something even close to a public setting. My Uncle lost his wife, after having lost that firstborn son, just a few years before. My cousins lost their mother after me remembering our prior enjoyable time together on the day of my Uncle's graduation from Duke, college of Divinity. It was also instantly that a young woman's life changed when her car lost control on an icy road. The heavy car overtook the smaller one, and there was no doubt how it would end. I'm sure living with that days' images have not been easy for her either. So we pick up the pieces and move on.
We can move forward more easily, knowing our fate, and I find comfort in that fact. It didn't make the loss any less painful, though. But pain and loss are part of the road we all travel (as well as joy and triumph). Fortunately the Father is always there to give comfort and rest, as we wade through the changes that make us ready for our battle to help bring people closer to his arms. Life on Earth may change in an instant, but in another instant, we will be with Him, and there will be no more tears. Work, refuel with the word and sustenance, and then rest in the truth that formed us in the first place.
But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV)
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted. Ephasis in the verses is from the devotional author.