Turning my eyes away from death and onto life.
I had to turn my face away. It was popular TV, just a random show that was piping through the screen that stimulated fascination with murder and darkness. When my eyes flicked across the scene of the dead man, blood behind his head, it hurt. Our eyes were never meant to look upon death. God didn't make the soul to be wired that way. Our eyes were made for beauty and life and wholeness. What was I going to choose here? I turned my face and looked out the window. A single white rose swayed gently in the breeze and I fixated my gaze. My eyes soaked in the life of this picture but my mind still felt raw from what I had just seen. I couldn't get past the dead man and it just brought it all back, one year ago, blood behind his head. Dead.
I felt hurt and cheated. This was never meant to be my inheritance. The garden was different than this and Edenic existence was what I was made for. Not this. Sick in the stomach and cold in the heart I started to ask the age old questions again. God, why? God what does your protection look like? God, how do we live this life without fears and anxieties when life wounds us and hurts us and scars us? There are no guarantees on this side of eternity. The only guarantee I have is that I will be with you, God, forever. Nothing to lean on apart from your love and kindness. I feel raw even writing this and this seems to be the way I think now. I get on a plane and I ask myself if I'm ready to die. I lie in bed at night and wonder if my children will stay safe. I keep my eyes on them like a hawk, can't relax and sit down like the rest, I have to be able to know where they are, always. I wonder if my husband's heart will hold and think about what life would look like without him. There really are no guarantees. I feel raw. I feel vulnerable. I feel naked.
I know that all I have is today, here and now, this moment, and this is my quest, to live life fully and give myself completely right now. I seize the moment. I look for the breath of God in my midst and I struggle and fight my way out of discontent into the grace of thanksgiving. I choose to say thank you for the gifts that are handed to me because they are just that, gifts. I choose to acknowledge all that I have today because tomorrow it might not be there and the real tragedy would be if I hadn't delighted in those things when I had them. I stretch my soul into the place of worship of the only One who is good. I bury the Word in my heart and I cling to Divine Love. I divert my eyes onto all that still remains of Eden, the life that still breathes in this dusty, dirty world, and I say thank you for grace.