June 4, 2011

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

We are dead to our sins, and made new, reborn, in Christ Jesus. Praises!

The new summer wind whips my face as I attempt to find the words to say. The things to feel. Some semblance of goodbye is in order. My gaze is fixated on my shoes. Black & pointy. A lone ant starts to crawl up my foot. I squash it. Two lives lost, now.

My eyes start their ascent, blurring with an overflow of things i can’t begin to feel quite yet. Slowly, I see grass. Other feet. A few flowers littering the ground. Then the thing I’ve been avoiding all along. The casket. My casket. Big. Black. Heavy with the weight of the sin of the body inside. My body. Looks like we’re all saying goodbye now. I have no words. Death doesn’t really make sense to me. This one in particular. Shouldn’t death feel sad? I hear a eulogy of myself:

“She was only 18. So young. We’re gonna miss her over here. She really knew what this side was about!”

A few more words that I tune out escape the lips of the speaker, and I see my casket being pushed lower and lower into the dirt. Gone quickly. Forgotten.

I feel my body walking to the car. I guess we’re going home now. Nothing left to see here. The ride is quiet. There’s a few murmurs from the others. Some muffled excitement bubbling over in their voices. Aren’t we supposed to be sad right now? I’m frustrated with them. Why don’t they seem sad? We just left a funeral. What is there to be excited about? I press my head against the cool window, attempting to drown out their noises. The car stops in front of my house, and it’s all I can do not to jump out before it stops. We finally get out and start walking towards the house. They’re acting so strange. Like they’re all in on some big secret. I brush past them and finally make it to our big white door. It swings open before I get my hand on the golden knob.

“SURPRISE!!!”

Balloons and confetti are floating everywhere. The room is bright and sparkling gold, and all of my friends and family are looking back at me. Someone walks over with a cake, candles glowing brilliantly, and the room bursts out in a chorus of “Happy Birthday to you!”

My mind draws a blank. My birthday? Didn’t we just leave a funeral? My funeral?

The song ends, and new music starts to fill the house. People sing, and dance, and talk, joyful, child-like grins plastered to their faces. This can’t be right, can it?

A loud belly laugh carries from the next room, and I immediately make my way to it. It sounds familiar somehow. As I push past a couple swing dancing, I see His face, and for the first time all day I feel settled. Finally, this feels right.

His eyes catch mine. “Ah, my sweet daughter! Welcome! I’ve been waiting for you to get here. Did you get everything taken care of earlier today?” His voice reminds me of everything that happened that morning, and reminds me it wasn’t a sad occasion at all. How could I have forgotten?

“Yes, Abba,” I reply giddily. “I’m so thankful to see you here. But shouldn’t we be at least a little sad? The funeral did only just end.”

Sad? No, my child! This is the most joyous celebration there is! You had to have the funeral before you could have your birthday party. Now, here you are! Welcome home!!

He takes my hand and guides me back into the dancing room. The lights twinkle overhead, the gold glitter floats across the room, and the music is the most beautiful melody I’ve ever heard. I step onto his feet like daughters do with their daddies, and we dance together all evening.

Behold, the old life has gone. The new life, lived in exploding color and light, is here! 

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