In the last two weeks I have been to two funerals of people whose lives have intersected mine and just this morning have news of another passing out of this world. One person was 93 years old, one 69 and the last somewhat younger. At my house we frequently receive pictures of new babies born to younger relatives or friends. And then there are the daffodils. Their long-awaited arrival was delightful; they were brilliant! Because of the sun and the unusually high temperatures last week, however, they disappeared as quickly as they had blossomed. I was speaking to someone on Wednesday about cycles and seasons – the way that our “insides” mimic the seasons or the weather sometimes, either blatantly or in a more subtle, sometimes nearly imperceptible way, when there is just a tiny sense of something different in us.
Whether cataclysmic or “run-of-the-mill” change is a part of life. We do well to stay awake so that it doesn’t catch us unaware with the consequence of upsetting our equilibrium. These thoughts came into focus this morning as I read the words of Jesus as he prepared to leave the earth. He says to his disciples:
Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you are now in anguish. But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. (JN 16:20-23)