when it's fading...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

he stops the van and opens the doors in the shade of those trees that stand tall in the heat of the afternoon and i lean my head back as the bedlam pours outside into the quiet of the space around us.

he looks at me with a question in his eyes and a hand outstretched and i pause for a moment before putting my feet on the ground.

he knows me - stopping here shows this.

i watch the girls run and elias try to keep up while falling down on the soft grass.  i listen to them call out for us to read names to them - to give word to the ones who used to be here but are now long forgotten.

the lack of flowers shows this.

words like pioneer and gettysburg and lynchburg and other places where great wars were fought and dates like 1881 etched in stone grounds me somehow.  as though this new life growing inside of me and life long gone underneath my feet reminds me of how small i am and how unfathomable He is.

he brings me to a cemetery in the midst of a period of waiting and i can breathe deeply again.

his dad, reduced to ash and scattered over an ocean and on the top of a mountain, and there is no place to go and lay down flowers...i've been longing for this lately.  for some place to go.

instead, we walk through stone faded by sun and rain...dates that are worn down and barely discernible and i read aloud names i don't recognize and wonder when the last time someone knelt down beside their final resting place and truly remembered who they were.

we give them their final warning...the oldest and youngest get 5 mintues, olivia gets 4. but really, they all get 5 mintues, liv is just convinced that 4 is the best number in the world and with a longer time frame than any other number we can call out.

and it's as we turn left that i notice that tree and we walk towards it and i say to him that something looks funny, out of place and we come closer when i see,

and i stop, can't really move. not because i recognize the name;  the tree has already begun to swallow it up. i stop because i recognize something and i'm not sure what. and so i wait.

the last date, the only date that i can read, is 1912.  100 years ago this man was mourned and could this tree have been planted then?  i wonder who loved him and who came faithfully to lay down bits of colour to as a tribute to loss?

did they see the trunk grow closer, the bark open up and start to grow around?

it's not until later, when the three are finally quiet and tony is sleeping beside me that i realized what i had recognized in the cool of the tree that was swallowing up a memory.

you, me? we are all dead men and women walking, sin is eating us alive and because of how it is woven in and around our very dna, we don't always see how it is slowly killing us.

but Jesus.

and here is what my soul responded to...

His death on that tree conquered the sin that was destroying me - the moment i whispered those words that i believed that He was the Son of God, i became His.

and those words i have heard over and over throughout my life took on a whole new meaning when i stood there at the grave of a man i didn't know,

for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
colossians 3:3

someday, when my body has been laid beneath the ground and i am standing fully alive in the presence of my Savior, my life that was hidden in Him will no longer show any markings of the sin that died when i trusted in Him.

someday, it will all be swallowed up and i will be whole and complete

with Him.