In loving memory of the beautiful, Ms. Heidi Helland.
“Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath”, the words of a man, Job, writhing in pain. He pleads for mercy, for sorrow to abate. This morning I find myself on another side of these words. This morning I am the one reminded of the brevity of this life. This time it is Father reminding me.
As he gathers my tears, our tears, and holds them near his heart – I hear him whisper, only a breath; this life is only a breath. Somehow I know it’s true. It doesn’t stop my soul, though, from racing to ask within one elongated sigh, “Why?!”; after which there is nothing left to do but let Comfort hold me, hold us.
Enfolded in his strength and tenderness, the sting begins to fade – at least a little. I hear his invitation to look. And I saw. You hold me, you hold us, here on this dirt floor, and you hold her too. As earth-eyes close in disbelief, hers light up at the sight of your face. We cry tears of sorrow [for which there is no shame], she cries with joy and genuine delight. Such depth of paradox breeds an inner silence; aching, yes; despairing, no; puzzled, most definitely.
One moment a fog, the next a tear then who knows what will show its face. In all of it, may I, may we return and return again to Father’s embrace and do the only thing there is to do; breathe.