the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Great Divide

Forever will Jan. 26th be a most tender of days for me. The day Jonan Eilam was born. Sacrosanct.  Never will that day pass without me breathing a bit more deeply; looking around at the world with a sober appreciation for life…and for the presence of God which fills it. Never.

Today, January 29th, is also seared into soul. The day we laid him in the ground. In the post On Grief and Celebration I recall the details and the pictures…I am thankful to live in a time when print and picture flow freely, despite the various damage they can do in other settings, they are helping me remember my son.  I am thankful there will come a day when memory will no longer be needed. I will meet my son when I meet the Son. 

Between me and that day lies death.  The Great Divide.

Today at church I was swept into the musical portion.  We have some talented folk at our church.  On any given Sunday there could be a swooning set of strings, maybe a saxophone, even an accordion. Today the flute made an appearance as did my husband rockin’ the electric guitar.  Perhaps, though,  one of the most important contributions to me is made by the one who chooses the music…you know, feels the flow of what will unfold during the service and provide us the musical score.  Music massages the soul and takes us places; the integrity of its compilation is vital for moving us toward God.  Agreed, God can use many things to draw us unto himself, and we can choose to acknowledge His presence anywhere we find ourselves.  But many times music just helps.

Often there are songs we sing that speak about rising from the grave.  The pinnacle of the Christian faith.  Not in a “Night of the Living Dead” sort of way, but in a Resurrection sort of way. The fact that Jesus has risen from the grave, gaining access for all who call on His name to have resurrection life. He conquered death by death, thus offering hope to us.  There is a song called I Will Rise (listen here).  The bridge goes like this:
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the grave

Before Jonan Eilam, lyrics like this were a great theological reality to sing of, but nothing that felt existentially relevant to my days.  It meant that we no longer fear death as the ultimate separation from God; we can have salvation through Christ.  Following Christ is different than every other religion on the globe by relying on grace through faith in Christ, rather than all the good we can do to outweigh the bad. This theology is good and something I could sing about with confidence and thankfulness…but now the lyrics ring anew.

We sang three songs today referencing overcoming the grave. As we sing of these things my soul stirred... I just visited a grave a few days ago… The reality (and need!) of overcoming the grave is relevant to my days.  And I am not without Hope.  As we drove into the cemetery grounds there was a peace amidst the fog that was around and within. 

This was, after all, our first visit since the earth opened.   Usually places like this bring unease, but there was beauty and precious space.  I stood at the grave of my son…silence. What does one say at the tomb of him who grew in her womb? 

Anticipating the need for ritual over words Elsa and I bought some beauty on our way.  I also packed candles. We picked up Jeff from the train station and made haste to ensure daylight.

We lit the large candle first, signifying Gods presence. We have lit this exact candle for years, recording thankful days. Then Jeff and I laid two roses, one for each of us.

We laid Elsa’s rose for Jonan next. She does not know him now, but she will someday.

We then lit four candles, one for each person in our growing family.  I named us each as we lit our candle. Thankful to God for our lives.  Trusting Him with their end.

Tears. Prayers. Silence. Daylight fades into night…

Darkness falls; reminds us again of the Great Divide. That mysterious space.  But the Light of God’s presence remains and we have hope that there is a Day yet to come.  The words of the song we sang today, one year later, lift my eyes toward Him whose grave has already been opened.  

You, oh Lord, have made a way 
The great divide You heal 
For when our hearts were far away 
Your love went further still 
Yes, your love goes further still 
You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave 
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

(lyrics by Matt Redman, You Alone Can Rescue, listen here)

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