Psalm 8:3-4 (The Message)
3-4 I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
I don't usually see myself as "micro," but gazing into the night sky, or an image of earth taken by satellite, puts things into perspective.
Lately I've been thinking about the past; sorting through old photos and organizing them, and it has brought home to me that I have more time behind me than ahead. There are children in my life with whom I hope to share many more years; but, at a certain point, they will go on and I will not.
Paul and I are reading Tony Campolo's book, How to Follow Jesus without Embarrassing God, and we are on a chapter entitled, How to Get Ready to Die without Pretending That It's No Problem. It is hard to imagine the world without "us" but, as a friend pointed out this week, it's like putting our hand in a bucket of water and swishing it around. We can make a stir while it's in there, but when we take it out, the water closes immediately over the place where it was.
This week it was the sixth anniversary of a friend's death. While she lived it was hard to imagine her not being here. She knew how to make a stir and her energy infused the atmosphere around her like electricity. Her mind raced with the speed of lightning and left us reeling most of the time, but her charm and vulnerability made it impossible not to love her. She lived in a group home and would often wail, "I don't want to die. I want to live forever in the group home." The thought of being buried in the ground preoccupied and horrified her and no amount of reasoning reassured her. Now I think that she probably had a more clear view of the whole business of dying than I do because even though she feared it, she faced it.
Tony Campolo writes that: On an intellectual level, everybody knows that he or she is going to die. But it is still difficult to embrace the idea subjectively. To feel the reality of one's mortality is far different from merely thinking about it as an inevitable fact of life.
I think there's something to be said for getting to this point of really knowing that my life is micro in terms of time and the universe. God is macro on a level that I can't comprehend and he has everything well in hand. It kind of takes the pressure off, you know?
The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven -
All's right with the world!