Haven’t most of us experienced an alien feeling or thought… upon losing a loved one… that the world should stop turning on its axis at that precise moment in time… or that life, as we once knew it, would never be the same again?
I remember experiencing this strange sensation (for the first time) as a 14 year-old… the year John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I remember school was called off that Monday morning…following the Friday assassination…and I remained glued to the television over the entire weekend… but especially during the funeral procession and ceremony.
Earlier when I awoke that Monday morning of the funeral…I asked mother if the sun had come up. I remember she looked at me strangely and replied “Yes”…it was up and shining brightly. “Why?” she asked.
I mumbled “No reason” but secretly I truly believed if somebody as important as a President died…and particularly in such a terrible, heart-breaking way…surely the world stopped.
I felt the same way a few years later…when my younger brother died…way too young…days from college graduation with his whole life still ahead of him. “Why didn’t the world stop to recognize this?”
Since that time, like everyone else, I have experienced more losses and I now know that the world never stops turning and life never stops “living”… no matter the magnitude of the disaster or calamity… person or circumstance.
Life goes on. The sun sets and the sun rises again. God’s promise never falters…the one true “Compass” in our lives.
As for the future…I think Archibald Rutledge sums this up most beautifully in his remembrance of Hampton Plantation following a very destructive storm that caused havoc inside and outside his tedious, back-breaking renovations on his ancestral home.
A month after the tragedy and destruction from the storm Rutledge surveyed his land…his “nature home”…and realized that hints of re-growth were already starting to show. With life and nature… ruin is transient. Resurrection of beauty and goodness are eternal.
He concludes his observation with one of my favorite quotes from him.
“Hope is stronger than fear; love is greater than grief; life is mightier than death; disaster is simply an incident of time. The shadows and rain of today will nourish the blossoms of tomorrow.”
So until tomorrow….”The blossoms of tomorrow” are still in bud…but tomorrow looks brighter as new life and perspectives unfurl for this beloved country.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
I plopped my foremost New Year’s Resolution up against my desk top computer screen so I wouldn’t forget the message.