I wonder if your heart is as weary as mine? I picture our hearts like silos. Collective stress induced by a global pandemic, natural disasters, and economic hardship fill the storage column. And then, over that basic elevated societal level, personal challenges sift. Layers, filling to the top, spilling over.
In the past few monthsl, I fell silent for a time, in a state of “deep calling out to deep,” following a terrible tragedy.
Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.
But even amidst deep sorrow, I laughed with dear friends, savored loved ones’ presence or voices over zoom, and pressed into the One who is deeper than any depth.
It’s strange how joy and suffering co-exist.
When I was younger, I thought happiness and sorrow belonged to mutually exclusive realms. The hard times were to be endured until better times came.
Then I “walked” my laughing Irish grandmother through hospice care, up to the very last step. The devastation of saying good-bye collided with unspeakable joy when I placed her hand into the Lord’s, as I imagined her face when she embraced my grandpa again.
Instead of the parallel tracks I’d believed them to be, rejoicing and weeping intertwined into one simultaneous moment.
Early in the pandemic, dire predictions and the chaos of lockdown overwhelmed me. But that same anxiety- inducing season also drove our six almost-grown and adult children (four we raised and two by marriage and upcoming marriage) home. The joy of being together burst into my weary heart.
During one of those sojourn days, my daughter-in-law and I cleared weeds from a plot of soil and tossed wildflower seeds. Such a simple task, and yet even at the time, I was aware of how happy and grateful I was to be with her – a mountain girl (her) and a country girl (me), dotting an urban backyard with a touch of our favorite places.
The seeds spouted. Each day, like a mystery unfolding, new colors and shapes lifted toward the summer sun. As I stayed at home through Covid restrictions, every morning they ushered me through a portal into discovery, change, imagination.
Amidst the trials of a world in upheaval, my daughter-in-law and I planted hope.
Sometimes seeds languish in frozen soil for a time, but they’re only waiting for a coming day when beauty sprouts again. Not in a parallel plane, but right in the middle of the heartbreak.