Passing Away

Who will mourn death
when it dies?

Who will cry out against
the drying of tears?

Who will offer their shoulder
when pain passes away?

You have promised it, O God, and it is certainly so that all things are being made new. But in our gleeful grabbing at the latest & greatest, in our rush to be done with anything displeasing, we have turned willfully away from the grief and the growing pains and the death that accompany new life. We have brushed aside tears and mocked the weary. “Life and faith are ours!” we crow (and alas to those who haven’t the privilege of joy for surely it is their own fault).

Do not let me hold you back from all that is new, Risen Christ. Pay no mind if I ask a friend to sit with me through an unspoken heartache — then again, if there is room enough in your resurrection for slow-healing wounds, you are welcome to sit with us too while we watch the slow sunset and take the time to learn of new constellations that rise with the moon. I am not so courageous in change, but if you stay with me, I could try.

The bed remains unmade in case death comes quickly or if life dawns without remembering to include us, and we wait beside it while others chase the promised by and by. When at last they run out of breath and their vision blurs in the dazzle of newness, the bed will be ready and we will be there to keep prayerful watch alongside the Spirit who, it turns out, is more like a hospice nurse than a plastic surgeon in Her understanding that death comes to us all.

Do not be afraid to mourn.

Let tears fall as they will.

Feel the fullness of your pain.

Pass away in the love of Christ and wake in the delight of God.

on Revelation 21:4

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