Friday, March 11, 2011

All God's Creatures

Even as we were trying to absorb the news from Japan, the unfolding tragedy, we were making our way to the nursing home to have lunch with my parents.  It has "only" been about ten weeks since we last visited, which made it all the more shocking to realize just how many familiar faces were no longer with us.  My father is struggling with the nearness of death, with loss, with his own mortality.  He seems so fragile in his independence, compared to my very dependent mother.  One misstep, one miscalculation, one random gust of wind, and his life could radically change, perhaps end, in a moment.  My dear friend Kim Mason captured the very essence of what I am feeling, what perhaps many of us are feeling, about fragility and helplessness in the face of forces so obviously beyond our control.  Please read her beautiful post (facial tissues required):

In the face of such a fleeting existence, of overwhelming family stories, of global tragedy, I have no words of wisdom.  I give you instead images of critters that make me smile, because I figure we all need something to make us smile just now.

Consider the humble burro
How cute is that?  And I promised you sheep
Looks like we hit the mother lode!
Emphasis on "mother"
So many little lambs!
And this sheepie from another farm
Finally, what can possibly be sillier than goats?
I pray this finds you safe, and if not comfortable, at least comforted in your hour of distress, like Kim's dark-eyed junco, like the men and women to whom my father has ministered at the home, like me in the arms of something bigger than I am, something I do not even pretend to understand, a Presence sheltering me in the face of the storm.


The Bug said...


KimQuiltz said...

I am struggling with the fragility of a mother and the bewilderment of a father that doesn't know how to help things. It's hard. :(

We are thinking along the same lines with animal cuteness making us feel better. See

altar ego said...

It's lambing season, and wee ones are abundant in places where there are sheep. They, and other wee ones of all species, remind me that in the cracks of our brokenness and fragility, new life begins to form and flourish. It is that cycle of renewal that offers hope when everything else seems dark, and loss, or its proximity, consumes us. Blessings to you as you seek to find, and offer, shelter.