Listen.  Remember God’s sorrowful call: “Where are you?  What is it that you have done?”  And in time God’s Son answers for us: “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.”

We stretch between the two: Eden and the Cross.  Yes, amid the pain and comfort of life, connected with all in their embrace and rebellion, in the dark and the light.

A Reflection

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Sometimes early in the morning when it is still dark as night I hear music that touches my heart and soul and makes me live again the moments when I have loss someone dear to me, that bitter sweet sadness of knowing love and loss at precisely the same moment – that moment and experience that melds both loss and love into memory – inseparable memory, my own moment under the Cross of Christ.

Gabriel’s Oboe composed by Ennio Marricone and played by cellist Yo-Yo Ma is one piece of music that transports me to that place of love and loss.  It is beautiful, simply beautiful; it tells of life, of living.  It is, in its beauty, able to embrace the truth of life – even the sobering knowledge that evil as it is in the world is subsumed by beauty, and love.  A heart of pain and the certainty that hope comes to its fullness in time – mortal and everlasting.

In the midst of the music and the memories it summons the bitter sweet truth that there is no loss, no hurt, no evil – no matter how brutal and heartless – that exceeds God.

Yes, I feel in the memories the heinous deeds of the deranged, the hatefulness of dictators and those with darkened hearts.

Yet, I feel as well this certainty: above it all is God, and love and eternity waiting for those who believe and struggle to grow in humility and the Spirit, in understanding and compassion, in forgiveness and mercy.

It is some powerful mix this life event.  We must, each of us, live this to be fully grown and ready for what is after mortal life.  While the world continues to crucify Christ and we suffer this heartache and humiliation, again and again we come to this: there is beauty, and love, and God and these prevail and never end.

In the gray twilight of my wife’s life, on the cold, windswept late November night in which she died – there was love and heartbreaking loss, a repetition of losses that came before as if to prepare me for more of the same but only harder to endure.  Yet, in this: God.  In this, intimacy.  In this, love that lasts and pain that is blunted if not extinguished over time.

It is this composition, this human equation, which humbles and strengthens, and deepens us, and creates in us a place for beauty, God, others, and love everlasting; in this we become human, and can touch the victims of man’s cruelty in ages past and ages to come.

We are in this in the continuum, witnesses linked with witnesses from the Garden to the Cross in centuries past and centuries to come … and the music plays and touches heart and the soul as if it is God’s hand.

Shalom.

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