Friday, October 5, 2012

A Day of Life ...

Remember those old school pictures where the whole school/year/graduating class was seated in three rows and the photographer took a panoramic photo? He had to start at one end and slowly pan to the other while we all sat as still as we could. (Usually there was some bright spark who was seated at one end, then sneaked behind everyone to sit at the other, thus appearing in the same picture twice.)

Last Saturday felt a bit like I was looking at a panoramic photo of life. I saw friends at different stages of their journey, but added together it formed a whole picture, and could be seen as the complete scan of a human existence.

In the morning I went to the funeral of a writer friend. It was a lovely celebration of his life: full of family, friends, treasured memories, and funny stories. He was a true renaissance man who delighted in the gifts God had given him, and used them to give pleasure to all throughout his long life. 

In the afternoon we attended a ceremony where two lives become one. The start of a covenant relationship, the melding together of two existences to create a wonderful whole. The promise of hope, and love, and the sign of faith. 

At both services, in the quiet places we could hear the burbling and crying of infant voices. The cooing, as of doves or angels, was a constant reminder of the newness of life, fresh starts, creation, and the love that precedes and encompasses everything. The start of the whole panorama.

Then, in the evening, I learnt of the divorce of a friend, and felt the heartache that colored the words in her message. I heard the sigh and sadness of God at the tearing of a gift, the fracturing of a family, and the end of a beautiful promise. Sadly, every picture of a life has tears and shadows, mistake and regret. Just as a Navajo rug has tiny imperfections to show it is hand-crafted, so a well-lived life will always have scars and imperfections that being human brings.

So, when I looked at the day, a glimpse of the panorama of life, all I could do was echo David's words:

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth! 
                                                                Psalm 8


  1. So true, Sue. Just today I read a post about the seasons of our lives. This is just another confirmation. Thank you.

  2. Sue! I was so excited to see your post pop up in my Reader!! Love your insight here. Reminds me of Ecclesiastes - to everything there is a season.