Your Banged Up Heart
As we enter into the last weeks of this season of Lent, it's tempting to want to look past them and begin focusing on the coming of Easter. Especially when the weather begins to warm, and the flowers start to bloom.
Here in Central Texas, Spring has finally arrived in full force. The bluebonnets are blooming, trees are exploding with white and pink blossoms, and it was actually hot inside my car when I got in it the other day.
Welcome, Spring. It's been a while.
But there are still days to go in our Lenten journey, and even though the temptation is there to begin longing for the coming of Easter, and the story of Resurrection... there are shadows to deal with before we do.
I've been missing my mom a lot lately. I think it has something to do with the blooming flowers all around me and the bird feeders I keep having to refill in my backyard.
For one brief Spring before she died, my mom got to enjoy the beauty of our yard, and that Spring we went all out with birdfeeders, birdhouses, flowers, and beautiful plants so she could enjoy it properly.
So it's bittersweet for me to see all of it again after a long winter, but with each passing year, it's become more sweet than bitter.
I'm learning to find joy in the presence of the things my mother valued, and to feel her in them, which brings me peace.
I recently read this quote from one of my favorite authors, Ann Lamott:
If you haven't already, you will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and you never completely get over the loss of a deeply loved person. But this is also good news. The person lives forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through, and you learn to dance with a banged-up heart.
If we live long enough in this world we will experience the loss of loved ones that we thought we could never live without. Their passing may very well leave us empty and hollow.
But even in these passages we kind find hope, and we can also discover the truth that lies at the heart of resurrection.
There may be sorrow in our losses, but there are also dear memories of happier days, impressions of love and goodness that never go away.
Further, our beloved ones also live within us in one of the great and wonderful mysteries of the universe---a mystery that can only be experienced, rather than explained.
All our losses and all our griefs are a part of the divine rhythm of the universe---a rhythm of dying and rising. We are a part of this rhythm, too, which should fill us with a deeper sense of connection to God and our loved ones.
Easter is coming my friends---live in that hope, rejoice and let yourself dance today while your banged-up heart beats wildly in anticipation of what comes next.
May it be so and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.