We lost a most pivotal member of our family last week. The patriarch. The spiritual sage and father-figure. He was all things passionate and true, and imperfect and meaningful. He was the steady hand at the helm of our ship. He brought us the words of a seemingly far-away God, and reminded us daily... that Jesus is actually as close as he can be. He brought wisdom and understanding, and pure unabashed faith. Needless to say, for all of us... the grief has come in overwhelmingly bitter waves.
Yesterday, i was going stir-crazy... wanting to outrun reality. I took that grieving, pent-up energy... and endeavored to produce something good.
I took my wedding bouquet apart. It was sitting on a shelf, dead... and depressing to look at in it's bouquet form. It was an ugly, depressing shadow of the glory of what it once was.
As i took it apart, i found mold... and leaves that crumbled in my palm. I got sad, wondering if anything from this death would in fact be salvageable. It seemed so final- like every part of it was done living.
But as i took the pieces in my fingers, gingerly lifting what remains i could and placing them to the side... i had a little shred of hope that my project could be successful. I just needed to be patient. I needed to let go of what was indeed gone and falling apart... but not give up on those pieces that could still withstand my touch.
I took several strands of string, and tied in the pieces of broken flowers, leaves and greenery that remained. As i worked, i had no idea if the project would be what i wanted it to look like... or if i would finish it, and think- this just looks awful. But when it was over, and I attached the strings to a strong piece of birch branch... i held it up.
It was beautiful.
The pieces didn't look so very dead anymore. They had a new chapter beginning... in a new form.
When Christ, is the strong branch holding it all up... these strings (these lives) and these pieces of a beautiful life, that ends... can live a new season, and be beautiful in a different way. They can be preserved.
This is my hope as we grieve as a family, that in everything... we are acknowledging what is over, but admiring and cherishing the pieces that have been repurposed.