This Cataclysm of Making and Unmaking

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The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

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Everything is made to perish;
the wonder of anything at all is that it has not already done so.
No, he thought.
The wonder of anything is that it was made in the first place.
What persists beyond this cataclysm of making and unmaking?

~Paul Harding from Tinkers

 

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Earthly contentment
~whether the house stayed dry in a flood
or a forest passed over in a wildfire
or a devastating diagnosis averted
or a bank account contained sufficient funds
or gray hairs remain successfully hidden~
won’t last.

May I not settle for comfort and contentment
but seek to fill
my continual need
with what will not perish,
even as the leaves turn yellow
and the light begins to fade,
and rest assured
as the seasons pass, altering the landscape,
I too must be changed.

 

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Time for Breakfast

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Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
John 21:12

It is so easy to let go of Easter — slide back into the Monday routine, continue to survive each day as we did before.
God knows this about us.  So He feeds us, a tangible and meaningful act of nourishing us in our most basic human needs though we’ve done nothing to deserve the gift.

Sharing a meal and breaking bread in Emmaus to open the eyes and hearts of the blinded.
Cooking up fish on a beach at dawn and inviting us to join Him.

When He offers me a meal,  I want to accept it with open eyes of gratitude, knowing the gift He hands me is nothing less than Himself.

 

…be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it.
Paul Harding in Tinkers

Making and Unmaking

photo by Josh Scholten

“Everything is made to perish; the wonder of anything at all is that it has not already done so. No, he thought. The wonder of anything is that it was made in the first place. What persists beyond this cataclysm of making and unmaking?”
~Paul Harding

What persists indeed?  There are times when all appears to be perishing, especially in the dying time of year when the world is drying up, blowing away like the dust storms in the parched midwest which soil the air like so much smoke.  The obituary pages predominate in the paper, accompanying an overload of bad news, mass shootings and suicide bombings.  All appears to be perishing with no relief or hope.

But it is waning light and shortening days coloring my view like haze in the sky painting a sunset blood red.  Darkness is temporary and inevitably helpless; it can never overcome the light of all things made.

Life persists in the midst of perishing because of the cataclysm of a loving and bleeding God dying as sacrifice.  Nothing, nothing can ever be the same.

God goes where God has never gone before.”
~ Kathleen Mulhern in Dry Bones

photo by Nate Gibson

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
~John 1: 3-5