Experience would tell me that my garden will yield more weeds than cucumbers this summer.
It would tell me I’ll be optimistic about the little wisps that appear in places other than where than where I’ve planted anything. It says I will wait to see if these little darlings are friendly wildflowers or a developing seed I sprinkled and forgot. And as I wait, the root of some strong-willed, drought tolerant, prickly-stalked invasive species will establish itself as the centerpiece of my garden. fluorescent
Not that I’m speaking from first hand memory or anything.
Experience says I will tire of the endless battle against Mother Nature’s crabby aunt, Rhizome, and will relinquish custody of the 10×15 plot when the mosquitos get too swarmy, the humidity too thick, or my allergies too ridiculously sneezy — like, how many sneezes does it take before you get annoyed with the sneezer and think they’re doing it on purpose? Turns out it’s not that many.
Even though the above descriptions may be true, I can’t help but expect great things. This year will be different. This year, everything will work out!
Someone I used to know is facing the most difficult, heart breaking thing she’ll probably ever go through. And even if it sounds childish, I can’t help feeling like it’s not fair. It’s not right. Her family shouldn’t have to go through this kind of loss, the kind that will forever change the trajectory of all their lives, the kind that will mark them with a scar that isn’t completely healable. How can this be their lot in life? How is this what God has for them? <— this is proof that old beliefs die hard. Once upon a time I thought God had a definitive plan for every one. Every single person. Imagine what that can do to your view of God, especially when everything’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I’ve shaken that off, but boy it pops up in weird ways every once in a while!
When I first heard the news of this tragedy, it wasn’t at the worst stage. The cancer had been detected, there was treatment ahead, and maybe things would be alright. What does it say that I hoped it would be alright but feared it probably wouldn’t be? Has grief so knocked me around that I’ve lost my ability to believe in the best for people?
People are saying that she has been given this burden to shine for God’s glory.
That sounds like a kind of spiritual abuse to me, and if not “abuse” certainly placing expectations on what grief should look like.
Because what if she can’t keep shining? Sometimes it seems that we’re only allowed to count for God if we say the right verses or smile the smile despite the circumstances.
What if she has to rage and gnash her teeth and spit and tear her clothes? Does that make her shine less?
Even though there are times when the world too much, when so much evidence points to corruption, greed, and selfishness, there is substantial proof of the world also being beautiful, full of generosity and goodness.
Maybe having a healthy respect for the dark makes you look for and expect the Light.