complexity

Hello’s. Goodbye’s.
That’s what this week is about. Two very common, every day kind of words. Greeting. Fairwell. New. Old. Begin. End. Rejoice. Mourn. Birth. Death.

I read once that the central image of the Christian faith is death and rebirth, that the core of it all, over and over again, is death and rebirth. This week, I’m thinking about death and rebirth. Friday, I said ‘hello’ for the first time to my new, precious nephew. That same day I said ‘goodbye’ for the last time to my lovely, elderly neighbor.

Hello. Goodbye.

I’m the kind of person who cares a lot about the conversation that takes place between those two words. I invest emotionally into the lives of those around me. Mostly because many years ago, my volleyball coach spoke Romans 12:15 into my life: “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.” So that’s what I do: I rejoice and I mourn. I feel from the heart. I love deeply. I cry tears. I laugh loudly.

Celebration. Grief.

This week is about hello’s and goodbye’s. It’s about change. Good and bad. It’s about a call. A call to believe in something despite how I feel. I don’t feel like God can use the grief. I don’t feel like ninety-one years is long enough. I don’t feel like the bitter parts of life are necessary.

But this week, I’m choosing to believe in something despite how I feel.

Shauna Niequist once wrote, “I know that death is real, and I trust that rebirth is real, too.”

That’s what I’m believing in. Rebirth. Life. Hope. Promises. Light. Beauty.

Yes, there’s still death. There’s still sadness and despair in the heart. There is darkness in the brokenness. But, Easter has come. Reunions exist. The sun sets, but then it rises. I trust that the changes of life show me God’s graciousness, not life’s cruelty.

So when I watch the coffin lid close Thursday, I will look down at the newborn in my arms and cry. What a complex, deep, beautiful world I’m living in…

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