Thursday, March 22, 2007
The angel and the cup
After Jesus' terrible prayer at Gethsemane, an angel came to him and gave him strength, but did not remove the cup. --Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
Some writers seem to have an inborn ability to capture a certain mood and sustain it until you become mesmerized. Berry is one of those. There is a certain silence that you can cut with a knife--a silence you can feel. And you feel it most when you are alone. That feeling is what Berry captures so well. It is a "Be-Still-and-Know-That-I-Am-God" kind of solitude, the kind that causes the pang behind the pang to well up inside you.
It's been three months since we held our precious Caroline. The pangs of sorrow are still very deep and for some reason they have risen to the surface this past week. Today I had to go approve the etching for her gravestone. I had no idea how difficult it would be. When I walked in the door, it felt like someone punched me in the stomach. There, laid across a drafting table on thin white carbon paper was my dear daughter's name with the date underneath: December 16th, 2006. Underneath will be a picture of a small lamb with the inscription, "I Am Jesus' Little Lamb -Isaiah 40:11." That verse says, "He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; and gently lead those that are with young."
Sometimes it feels like he didn't really drink the cup all the way down. That some has spilled out on us.