‘In the midst of life we are in death.’ So goes the Book of Common Prayer on which I was raised and of which I can still recite big chunks.
What a concept. Death in the midst of life and, even more compellingly, life in the midst of death. It’s both/and not either/or.
The key to acceptance must be to recognize that the two – by their very nature – coexist. Nothing in our experience of life suggests that any of it is all life, or all death at any time.
And here it is today:
The abundant life is ephemeral, but so is this death. What looks like death or the absence of life is, in fact, not. It’s on the way to new life already sown. New life as yet unseen only because currently it is beyond what we can see.
In our garden, last year’s Christmas tree branches are drying out beneath our blossoming rosemary bush. Death and life adjacent.
By comparison the rosemary is so bright and fecund it is enough to make you blush.
If God does this with all Creation, it must include us. We know it does. The cycle of life to death to new life.
If in life we must grab it, in death we must wait for it. New life is coming. It is already sown. It is not absent because it is as yet unnoticeable.
I hold onto this: “God’s delays are not God’s denials.
Hold on; hold fast; hold out.
Let’s wait, but not wilt.
Spring is coming.