photo credit here
there are places we can’t go – with our friends.
try as we may, empathic as we may be, there are footprints that can only be tread by the soul wearing the soles.
last week, on a day of blinding sun and spring breeze, a day when i could feel the pulse of new creation beneath the grass, i clicked on an email and gulped this truth the hard way.
sonya had written to say that it was finally ready – the headstone that she had special ordered to mark the place where his body rests. it had been designed with great care, new technology allowing that smile, those dimpled cheeks to be carved into copper: not mere marker, but tribute to that one so long-awaited.
it was perfect …
and she hated it.
cold and bronze, the sketch of his likeness was utterly unlike him … for to know him, to really know him, required the scent of his neck after bath, the soft tangle of hair atop his crown, the playful pat of his hands against your cheek.
and for these, she’ll have to wait until we’re all delivered, on special order, to that place where death will be robbed of its sting.
i had no words for her then … tears, always tears, but no words – because words, in the end, are no better than a copper facsimile, a marker of a truth that exists but resides beyond our reach.
beyond our reach. on a shelf too high. above our grasp.
trying to make sense of tragedy is like chasing wind — wearying and fruitless.
clinging hard to Truth, to Faith, to Savior, however, is like unfurling wings no one knew you had … you wait, wings out, and the Spirit lifts you into light.
i haven’t seen the headstone yet, but i’d like to see it for the first time at about 5,000 feet – from the view of the birds. from there, i imagine, i’d catch only the glint of copper in sunlight, see only a twinkling of amber in green of grass. the cool gleam of that metal would be stitched into quilt of landscape, a spark of gold in the vast expanse of Creation.
seeing it up close is far too human to be of any use. plagued as we fallen creatures are with spiritual farsightedness, we need a new perspective – we need the view of the birds.
don’t trust your eyes, i’d tell my soul-friend, if i had a chance to re-write those words. for now we see as in a mirror fogged with pain and grief, but then we shall see face to face.
when carved copper has been long forgotten …