The last couple of weeks have been filled with life. I've celebrated new marriages, spent time with family, picked ripe figs, eaten fresh pastries, prepared for the arrival of my little baby, and shared more happy moments with Michael and Grace than I can remember.
But, as I and my little world are almost literally bursting with life, the joy has been dampened by pain, sickness, and death around me. A friend's marriage is falling apart. They have two little kids. I know of a little church that seems to be falling apart too. The friend of a friend recently lost his fight with cancer leaving behind his wife and toddler. My grandmother's sister just passed away, too. And when I hear about the pain, sickness, and death in Iraq, Missouri, Central America, West Africa, and on and on I could go, I seem to carry those unknown faces around with me as well.
In the midst of all the life I have been living and all the death I have been feeling, I've been listening to this song practically on repeat:
Death, be not proud, though the whole world fear you:
mighty and dreadful you may seem, but death, be not proud—
for your pride has failed you— you will not kill me.
Though you may dwell in plague and poison,
you’re a slave to Fate and desperate men—
so death, if your sleep be the gates to heaven,
why your confidence?
You will be no more — you will be no more — you will be no more.
Even death will die.
Even death will die.
- "Death, Be Not Proud" by Audrey Assad based off of John Donne's Holy Sonnet
Yes, death is not the last word! Ultimately, for those who are in Christ, life will triumph and even death itself will die. As I hold onto this truth, I find permission to revel in new exciting marriages and old healthy marriages, trees on public sidewalks full of ripe figs, my daughter's hilarious attempts to parrot full sentences, and my belly swollen beyond capacity. This life is what ultimately will last.
Even with so much life around me, hard days are coming. They always come. May I hold onto this hope even when the hard days are here.