It has been a heavy week. Last week, our community buried a 12 year old girl who lost her battle to brain cancer. I didn’t know her personally, but had been praying for her for a few years and following her story. And I know her grandfather, who is a deacon at our parish. She was one of us. Community. And she died so young. The world only sees the tragedy, the heartbreak… and I certainly see and experienced that, even from a distance. And yet, we also see the victory in her death. She fought the good fight and was going Home. She reached the Beloved face to face!!! What more could any of us hope for?
The same day, they found a young man in our community dead. I still don’t have all the details, but apparently a freak accident. His older sister was my best friend all through middle and high school. His big brother is a good friend and married one of my longest childhood friends. I worked in his dad’s store in high school. We went to the same daily Mass for years. We rubbed elbows serving at Mass on occasion. He was a vibrant, joyful, and faithful witness of God’s great love to all those around him. And at age 23, he is gone. It is heavy. I trust that He is going or has gone Home. Victory. And yet there are so many unanswered questions. So much sadness, not just at the gap in my life, but the gap for those that loved him and were so close to him. That shared so much more of their lives with him.
I was talking to a good friend who lives out of state and she was missing this community while getting ready for her new baby. Our community makes such a big deal about new babies and their grand entrance, and she’s missing some of that where she’s at.
Community is an amazing thing. We really do bear one another’s burdens, weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice. I am so humbled and so blessed by the gift of it. And I am praying for this community as we bury a couple beautiful young people and learn to love each other more in the process. Come Lord Jesus.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 11.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Lord, help us remember that you have indeed made everything beautiful in your time and that you have a plan and work all things for the good of those who love you.