One thing I forgot to add to my last post because it occurred to me the other night just before I fell asleep and then I didn’t remember it until today….
Bella and Sophie have a game they played quite often during Lent and Easter seasons. They kneel down inside the prie dieu looking out and they chant, “I’m in the tomb with Jesus. I’m in the tomb with Jesus.” It’s part of a whole Easter sequence that also includes the crucifixion, Jesus being taken down from the cross, the resurrection, and Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus in the garden.
In the midst of my tearful turmoil, after I’d finished pouring out all the words that demanded to be written; after I’d taken my shower, crying all the while; after I’d crawled into bed and had said the prayers of Compline and was trying hard not to start weeping again; suddenly that phrase came to me, my daughters voices chanting in that cheerful way that only children can chant about death. And I realized how apt it was. At that moment I truly felt I was in the tomb. Everything was so dark and I could see no way out.
But oh how the memory of their chanting voices cheered me for they reminded me that even in the tomb I am not alone. He has been there too. He too has felt abandoned and isolated. He too has felt profound loneliness. He too has felt deserted by God, his plea for help answered only with a no. No, this cup will not pass from you, you must drink it to the bitter end.
And that was what made me realize that perhaps this loneliness, this feeling of isolation and this being overwhelmed, perhaps this is my cross. I’ve spent far too long listening to too many voices that tell me that it shouldn’t be this way and for too long I’ve struggled and struggled against acceptance. And yet what I need here, now, today, is to accept the work of today as God’s will.
Recently I read He Leadeth Me and the one truth that rang out to me page after page after page was the necessity of accepting the suffering of each day. Not seeking to find God’s will out there in grand tasks and possibilities, but in the mere circumstances that each day brings. This life is mine and this day is mine and they are mine to make of them what I will. I cannot change the circumstances but I can try to align my will. No, this life is his and this day is his, he made it and it belongs to him. All I can do is return it to him to the best of my ability. I can choose love today. I can choose work instead of sloth. I can choose to see sickness and sadness and loneliness as a call from him and embrace them not as goods in themselves, of course, but as trials that I cannot make go away by wishing and begging.
It is a truth I’ve learned before but it seems that with each change of life’s seasons I must learn it again. And again. And even if I think I’ve learned it…. well, I guess I’m a slow learner.
Today and yesterday I found some meaningful work to do and Dom and I rethought how we want to use some of our living spaces. As soon as I arrange the photos, I’ll put up a post. It’s funny how something as simple as rearranging the furniture can give you a whole new perspective. I’d never have done it on my own; but Dom had a vision of how to make my life a little easier. It required some hard work and both of us ended the day yesterday with sore backs. The kids were cranky and didn’t get their usual Saturday night baths. But today… well, I’ll wait and let that story tell itself in it’s proper space.
Thank you for your prayers, my friends, truly there has been grace. Grace and peace. In the midst of the usual chaos, of course.
The thing about being in the tomb with Jesus… is that you can be sure there will be a resurrection.