Monday, January 26, 2009

As wise Rafiki once said...'s the circle of life.

Birth and death, all around me this week. It's winter, first of all. Still. Blasted winter. Everything is dead and brown, and I am so cold I have to wear leggings under my dress pants at work, and every morning I start my day with a blast of arctic air (today the added treat was sprinkling icy rain) as I wait for my train.

Images like the one above are familiar to us all, but ring extra true in my world. Both grandfathers and buried in places similar to this. Both were put into the ground amid 21-gun salutes and honor guards, and both my grandmothers homes features triangular folded flags. My Marine brother is about to return home from Cuba, and we do not know where he will go in the future. A safe place? A boring place? A secret place? Not certain.
My mother is in Jellico, Tennessee today burying the woman who was a grandmother to her and raised her for a time when war took her father far away. In small group last week a couple told us of another dear newlywed friend who, at 20-something, is dying of a brain tumor, and in devotion this morning my close work friend shared that her husband's parents have BOTH been diagnosed with serious lung cancer. When I hear this I think of what Melanie shared recently: the night of his wife's death at only 22 years old, Teddy Roosevelt wrote in his diary this simple phrase: "The light has gone out of my life."

War in Gaza, war in Somalia, war in Congo, murdered journalists in Russia, drug war in Mexico, governments falling in Iceland, pirates on the seas, shark attacks up in Australia, 30 thousand children die every day of preventable disease... sometimes it is just too much to bear.

But then...

Life comes back.

This weekend I will attend my very first baby shower. The mama-to-be is a friend of a friend, and she has had to make some tough decisions. As with any young American woman today, she did not have to allow this baby to continue growing toward birth. But she bravely did.

Just in the last two months, Buckner, the ministry where I work, has celebrated many new "forever families". Couples who chose life, journeyed far away to bring back a new child who otherwise would grow up in a state-run institution. Dozens of blogs cry for joy at the arrivals of Sosy and Yeneneh, Faith, and precious little Ella Yanet (below).

A picture of Sosy has hung in my office since shortly after I began working here. We blew up this gorgeous picture of an Ethiopian preschooler living in one of our orphanages for an event in the fall, and just this week I learned she is being adopted RIGHT NOW, and will soon be home with a family who loves her in Texas. Ella Yanet's parents visited our office last week, and I got to hold that beautiful baby for an hour- it was the best day ever. Those families chose life!

This I know: Spring is coming. And life is more powerful than death; Life has won.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I'm not sure if I should be reciting Ecclesiastes 3:4 or start singing The Circle of Life (because I obvi own the sound track to Lion King!) but either way I really loved this post!! Thanks for the reminder that after the winters of life melt away, the spring sunshine will come and remind us that life is beautiful!