The sun looked like something you could peel.
There it was, just an orange orb in the East, breaking our day open.
I was getting to see the dawn of Saturday as I drove to the city to sit over coffee with a friend.
And as I made my way down that freeway, trying not to get too distracted by the fireball cracking our weekend open, I think I said it out loud….
“And then there’s THAT, God.”
Then there’s this hot star to beacon the day, and the moon to flashlight the night, and the beauty of all those flowers I snap.
They are there.
Because just the day before I had walked and wondered a grassy knoll thinking about the devastation one family in New York City has recently felt over losing their son to cancer. I had just read about the awful circumstances, the terrible process of his dying, the details and the grit of what transpired for this young child. His body was ravaged and tortured because of the disease and it was ugly and awful and real.
And as I reached the end of the path I was on, tears leaked out of my sunglasses and I couldn’t make them stop, and I wanted to punch the sky.
And it made me think of the other devastations that unfold all over the groaning earth, and I wanted to stomp on hard ground and say no. All the abuse, the disasters, the immense pain – people are crying out as I type this comfortably at my kitchen table. And it slips me into despair.
But then dawn broke on Saturday.
And the contrast cuts deep.
So much bad, so so so much bad. But then there’s beauty.
It’s hard for me to reconcile it all.
I reached the cafe where my friend and I were meeting. I got there early on purpose to read, scribble down some thoughts, and watch the blue of the heavens grow brighter.
A couple came in the side door in front of me. She walked with a gate and cane but wasn’t even close to the age of typically needing to do so. She had a bag full of medicine she placed on a table, and her husband had to assist her in sitting.
Before she started in on her coffee, the couple clasped hands for prayer. She lifted up thanks and her body was very broken and she was still able to praise and I was a student.
People being able to point to Him. Hearts housing all kinds of belief in the midst of sorrow. Faith still hanging on as hope runs dry.
But being honest here, I still have all the questions. Witnessing beauty and seeing belief don’t whisk them away. They offer a buffer, but the bad still screams.
My oldest just came in early, so blond, growing, handsome – and the first words out of his mouth all boyish and somewhat sleepy were…
“Have you seen the backyard? The sun is lighting up a pine like crazy.”
And the timing of this doesn’t escape me.
I slip on flip flops, tighten my morning robe, and go out back to see that wild circle shine on my questions again.