This post has been brewing in my spirit for a while. I told you all about it months ago. It’s been a busy season as most holidays are, but the fragility of life has been ever-present. I began with the post The King Is Good, and this is the second of three parts to share my heart in what has been a heavy season of grieving. I pray that the Spirit of God speaks to you as He has me.
“Life is a vapor!” she powerfully said as she owned the stage at her own husband’s memorial service. Our eyes were all glazed over with salty tears that had been present for days. My heart skipped a beat as she spoke this truth with intensity and poise. She described the day and the moments leading up to her husband leaving us and moving into Eternity. I tried to catch my breath. I was all kinds of overwhelmed and weak. But what she spoke was true. I had told her just the week before we are not promised tomorrow. The Spirit was moving. He still is. I am still blown away at the poise and shear ease that my precious friend preached at her husband’s memorial service. Yet, she knew ~ and it was made perfectly clear ~ that God had a message to speak through her…and He did.
This fragility of life, the reality that it can come and go at any moment, is sobering to say the least. I have said in conversation with some of my closest that I feel like I am always waiting for some ball to drop…some part of life to fall right out from underneath me simply because I know it can. I work in a profession where I see balls drop every shift…terrible diagnosis, life-changing moments, grieving families one after another. For a long time, I have been able to separate my life from these moments. If I am honest, brutally honest, I treated the possibility as something that could only happen in that realm, to those people… I emotionally and mindfully didn’t let it touch my life, my people, my heart. Yet, the Lord has made it abundantly clear this last year that it absolutely can touch my life and my people. He reminds me daily that this fragility touches everyone. Fragility is not reserved for one group of people. We are all subject to life on Earth in ALL of it’s beauty and brokenness.
I was reading a post of a friend whose daughter is fighting cancer for the second time. She was reflecting on the last 15 years with her husband and how she never could have imagined this story…this fragility, yet deep beauty of life. But it’s real. And she is hanging in this tension of fragility and reality balanced with an omnipresent, real, good God. (She is doing it beautifully and authentically.)
It’s funny how we are taught here on Earth to hold tightly to fragile things. I often tell my girls to wrap both hands around breakable plates and glasses. Yet, holding tight doesn’t always insure safety. I think I prefer “handle with care.” Every moment really is a holy moment and should be handled as such.
How do we honor every moment, live life to the fullest while not worshipping life itself, yet always worshipping the Giver of life?
The hardest thing to me is to hold loosely to this life in hope of the next while also valuing and honoring this life. It is fragile because it was always meant to be. There is a peace that comes with knowing that there is more, that our story matters in a bigger story, and that God is with us. Yet, the grief of life ending, people suffering, hearts breaking is too real. And it’s tangible ~ making people and their lives the most fragile things we encounter on a daily basis. And grief ~ the way we pick up the broken pieces and restore what is lost here ~ matters in the story. It’s essential that we mourn over the pieces, sweep them up, and envision restoration. But it is a process that takes time and respect.
I want to find the place, the sweet spot, where I can honor the moments while also honoring eternity. If I live like there is nothing more after this, I may not honor God or others with my life. I may be spontaneous and fun and honor only what I consider the best thing for me. If I always live like today is the last day, I run the risk of fulfilling a bucket list instead of fulfilling my home and the hearts of the people around me. These people, their hearts and spirits, they are what are eternal and going with me to eternity. I want to nourish hearts whether it’s a bucket list day or a laundry day. I want to usher in peace whether I’m climbing the highest mountain or loading the dishwasher for the 1000th time. I want to honor people and their hearts over the things of the world on the best day and on the hardest.
I want to remember that God always created and intended this world to be fragile. And He told us to enjoy it. But it is a vapor, y’all, and it’s not all there is. This life matters, but only really in the light of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Eternity.
The ball will most definitely drop. It has, and it will again. I want love well and deeply while knowing that the pain and fragility will indeed touch me. I want to be fully woke to the realness and fragility, and still fully aware of what is coming. One day fragility won’t be a thing, because brokenness won’t be a thing. Until then, though, we embrace the fragility that is here, honor and respect the deep grief that it brings, and land in a space of Hope for what is coming!