You might have noticed that I have been drawing in circles lately. Today’s art is no exception, but it was very deliberate.
We tend to think in linear ways, with a start and a finish, a beginning and an end.
A circular shape speaks of the never-ending quality, much like the officiant or pastor reminding a bride and groom that their rings are a reminder of unending love – a love that goes beyond any limits we might give it.
Our bodies, on the other hand, seem to have more finite qualities. I’ve spoken recently about people who have been given a “terminal” diagnosis, a diagnosis most of us have difficulty with. I hadn’t heard that word in ages, actually, so was surprised when it surfaced.
More often in my work we use the word “palliative” which defines a patient with a life-threatening illness, who might need more comfort care than curative care. Whatever words you use, we all have the knowledge that our lives are temporary here on earth, we live in fragile shells.
I remember clearly my first husband saying that while he came to terms with his impending death, he was aware that any of us could be living our last days… and not even know it. We don’t like to talk about it, much less think about it.
But the incredible comfort is that our souls are eternal. I believe that with all my heart. The imprint of God the Creator is set in our beings, for it is said we are made in God’s image. Deep inside of us, I believe there is a longing for the eternal. And with that there is the hope of eternity, of a peace we cannot even imagine in an unbroken world.
This can be unfathomable, beyond our imaginations. While I don’t understand the mystery of it, I do believe that the God who created us, loves us immeasurably and longs to have relationship with us.
It is this knowledge that gives us courage and hope when we say goodbye to the dear ones we love. Today I asked a dear friend if he was ready to go… and he is in that place of relinquishing the things of earth and preparing for heaven. With tears in his eyes, he nodded… and yet it is not easy. The earth, our bodies is what we know, and it is hard to say good-bye.
These are holy moments, when the veil between the earthly being …and the eternal reality… intersect. It fills me with wonder, with hope. And with that knowledge it gives me courage to live well, to love well, in my earthly home.