I have been attempting to write this post for well over a week now. I knew what I wanted to write about. I have had many thoughts on what I wanted to say. I simply could not find a way to join these thoughts into any sort of coherent order.
For the last few weeks, I have been bombarded with reminders of death. One of the more obvious sources for these reminders is Lent and Holy Week. For some reason, this year the impact of this holy season was more poignant than most other years. Add to this the fact that my family very recently marked the 10 year anniversary of my Dad’s passing. Add to this a recent story I heard on NPR told by the sole survivor of 3 young men (aged 14-19) trapped in a grain silo while “walking down the corn.” For some reason, this story really got to me; the terror conveyed by the survivor, the guilt he felt for being helpless to save his friends, the overall senselessness in the unnecessary waste of life. Cap it all off with the news that my father-in-law recently died; and my complete lack of compassion at this news. These are the thoughts have been swirling around in my head and in my heart.
I kept thinking I should try to try to unpack these thoughts using the lessons of Good Friday and Easter. I kept trying to force myself to talk about the fact that, to my thinking, Good Friday is the real miracle and that Easter is simply God’s exclamation point on that miracle. I wanted to say that all of this serves as a great basis for a healthy relationship with the fact that we will all eventually die. But no matter how hard I tried to get started, I just couldn’t get anywhere.
The bottom line is that death scares me. The bottom line is that my ego will simply not imagine a world without me. And I suspect that no matter how much anyone holds to the hope of Easter, death scares them just as much as it scares me.
Rather than trying to unpack anything, I decided to dig back into my computer archives and share something I wrote just over 10 years ago to share with my mom as we began the grieving processes over the loss of my dad.
The Gospel of Genesis
Having called into existence all of creation, God bent down on knee, reached out, grabbed a handful of Earth, and felt it between her fingers. With a smile in her eyes, she carefully caressed this clay, molding it into perfection. Satisfied with its form, God smiled again, filled her lungs, and breathed her own breath, her life, her essence, into this new creation. With the purest of love, she took man by the hand and showed him all there was in this new world she had made for him. As the sun was setting, man asked God why she had done this for him. With all the tenderness of the world she replied, “It is a gift. All I ask of you is that you enjoy this gift that I have given you. Share it. Live your life to its fullest. Love all your fellow man. And be truly content.” Seeing the question forming in his mind before it was spoken, God continued, “When this earthen vessel I have placed you in fails, I will visit you again to reclaim my breath. You and I will again be one.” Feeling contentment beyond words, the man closed his eyes and smiled. And God, seeing that all was good, smiled as well.