What Is Left Is What Is


There's a lot of talk about what life will be like after COVID.  I say "talk" because no one knows anything really.  

We can only guess at the specifics, but I think all of us are coming round to the realization that life will never be the same again from now on.  

When I think about these things for any length of time, I start to feel a bit overwhelmed.  And then all I want to do is play the Disney Emoji  Blitz game on my phone.  

[Seriously, you should download it.  It's like Candy Crush, only Disney characters.]

I have a friend who told me today that it's not uncommon for people to feel distracted and scattered right now.  He said that your mind can only take in so much stressful news at a time, and we are constantly being bombarded with stressful news.  

So we watch Netflix or play Disney Emoji Blitz... or we shop online, workout incessantly, overeat, obsess over social media, spend entire afternoons watching online news programs...  the list is endless. 

Anything to keep from thinking about what we've lost... and how the world won't be as it was before all of this.  

I read a poem by Wendell Berry today that spoke to me of the feeling I'm feeling right now.  I have this sense that there are things that are dying all around me, but that there's something else, something new being born from those deaths...   

The Broken Ground
The opening out and out, 
Body yielding body: 
The breaking 
Through which the new
Comes, perching 
Above its shadow
On the piling up 
Darkened broken old 
Husks of itself: 
Bud opening to flower
Opening to fruit opening 
To the sweet marrow
Of the seed—
    Taken
From what was, from 
What could have been. 

What is left is what is. 

I know.  I've been quoting a lot of poetry lately.  It's all good.  When you want to know how why you feel something, your best bet is to go to a poet for answers.  

But doesn't that poem just capture this moment?  Berry describes the cycle of death and resurrection embedded in the rhythms of all of Creation.  

This reminds me of what Jesus told his followers in John 12:24:  
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
 I love that last line so much:  

"Taken from what was, from what could have been. What is left is what is."

There will be more days ahead for all of us to consider what could have been had all of the events of the last few months not happened at all.  And we may feel overwhelmed by it all in those moments, to be sure.  

But we should know that there is new life springing up from the husks of those dreams... New buds and flowers, fruit that will bring new hope and new dreams that we may have never dreamed had not the old ones died. 

May you be filled with hope today and every day forward. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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