Sunday, March 13, 2011

Joy to the heart

On Saturday at church we sang, read, remembered and liturgized over the ashes of Mike Meyer, my high school English teacher, friend, and fellow actor/director. And then those ashes were interred in the church's memorial garden, in a biting cold March wind. The gloom has not yet lifted from my heart.

Twenty-seven years ago, on this same date, March 12, we watched as my father's casket was lowered into the ground, while the snow blew around our heads and our feet sank into the frozen muddy grass. Such a long time ago, and I still feel his absence.

Sunday morning's sermon was like ice on a tooth with a cavity. One shock of pain, then another. This was not the preacher's intention. He spoke of couples rehearsing their wedding vows, tears pouring down the face of tough guy grooms. My husband and I said our vows right to each other, from memory, because we felt something that serious should not need prompting. But he is gone now, too, and there is no one to remember that with me. The pastor went on to speak of other tears in church, poignantly. More pain hitting home. I had my phone in my hand, because I was texting the teens to find out if they'd  made it to church. I wanted to throw it--or throw something--at the pulpit. My heart, my gut--they were weighed down enough.

This being Lent, the sermon moved on to mortality, to rehearsing for death with Jesus. Yeah, no need to say more about that here. Christ died for us, we die with Christ. We rise again. It's a way of looking at our lifetime on this earth. It's a way of looking at each day. It's a way of walking through the valley of the shadow of death with hope not despair.

I looked out the kitchen window while making coffee this morning. The houses across the alley reflected the rose-yellow glow of the sun, tricked into rising later by clocks sprung ahead for daylight savings time. The living and dining rooms were filled with this same pink and pale gold color, as if the sky itself had crept through the trees and past the apartment buildings just for  me, to bring me joy.

I think I will look for it again tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

Lori Martin said...

That sermon on Sunday also struck a chord with me - I remember going to Sunday services after my first husband passed away. I swear, every Sunday, there was some mention about a widow or loss - in a bible verse, hymn, prayer. I would turn to my dad and just start crying. But still I went every Sunday and just suffered. But you know how that feels - it didn't matter where you were or what you did - you just suffered. However, I always found some verse, phrase to hang onto during those services that helped me make it through another week. And still amid everyday loss we find joy - in the sun, family, friends, music, and verse and hang on to those blessings ...