A Day Too Short

Commentary

I’ll be hard-pressed to fully explain this one, but let me try by recounting the occasion:

I had been praying for a friend’s father for about a year. He was a brilliant man whose mind and health were failing. My repeated prayer was that God would give him enough clarity of mind and grace to respond in faith to the Savior — if he had not already done so (my friend wasn’t sure). He was on my list of “People I Want to See in Heaven!” God knew all about it.

On Saturday morning, after months in hospice, the father passed away a little before noon. My wife and I heard the sad news shortly after.

A couple of hours later, I was taking my afternoon nap. To help me sleep, I placed a piece of dark, heavy clothing over my face. As I lay there in that artificial darkness, it was as though the sun had gone down. I thought of my friend, and I began to sob. Some of this was fresh grief for my friend. Some was the mounting grief of a lifetime of deaths. I’ve been here before — three years ago, when my own father died.

I thought of how convenient it was that I could press the artificial darkness to my face and express my feelings without alarming my family. How I’d like to stay there, not remove the darkening cloth — now wet — from my face. But this day had many more hours to go.

Yet to Explore

How does the sun relate to the father? How does that sun both create and respond to the reality of “newborn day”? I have been thinking lately about Romans 8, where creation is depicted as groaning as it awaits freedom from corruption at the “the revealing of the sons of God.” That figures in to my inchoate thoughts. Here’s one of those embarrassing things about poetry: I don’t yet know the meaning of my own words, but firmly believe there IS meaning.

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