Thursday, April 27th, was an intense morning for a lot of people. People close to me whom I know experienced very clearly how amazing and fragile life is in two very different ways. Here is how the morning went for me.
Sometime a little before 5 am on Thursday morning our phone rang. It was a call we’d been eagerly expecting, our good friends where going to have a baby. Our role was to come over and watch their three year old while they went to the hospital. We went over and they headed off to the hospital. I took a short nap and then dressed and headed to work.
At work I settled down at my desk and briefly checked my email, when a news headline caught my eye. I opened the news article just as the phone rang and Mindy excitedly shared with me some other news.
In one moment, I heard the announcement of a new life and read a tale of lost life.
Whitney Cerak, a girl I had met only briefly a few weeks before, died in a fatal car accident. I can remember her sitting in our living room talking about what her interest where and what she would like to do with her life in the future.
Roman Franklin was born at 7:00am on April 27th. A new life I have had the joy of watching grow from unnoticable in his mother’s womb to a quickly growing one month old.
That day was especially sombering for me as the joy and sadness mixed together in my heart and reminded me that each life is important and fragile. I don’t know what words or thoughts can explain the heaviness one’s heart feels as they recognize these truthes. There is a feeling of regret and shame for how flippantly one has treated life and relationships and you finally realize how sacred it all is.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. -C.S Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I leave you with this saying, which my good friend Ashley (who introduced us to Whitney) started saying with me sometime 7+ years ago in high school.
How Goes the World?
The world goes not well,
but the kingdom comes.”