Saturday night was the sixth month anniversary of Jan's death. It is, on one hand, difficult to imagine that so much time has already passed; because, on the other hand, it seems like it happened yesterday.
Easter Sunday was the most difficult day I have endured in many weeks. I avoided all Good Friday services because I was not prepared to focus on death and suffering; but when I looked at the worship folder on Easter Sunday morning the sermon title was: "Open Our Eyes Lord". A very appropriate title for resurrection Sunday I thought.
However, it impacted me in a most unexpected manner. In a flash I was transported back in my mind to that Saturday afternoon six months ago when Jan collapsed and was receiving emergency treatment. All I could envision was the lifeless look in her eyes and were normally so beautiful and alive and responsive. Eyes that were being opened to see the reality of the ressurection as she moved to the other side; but eyes that would never again look with love at any of us.
It was such an emotional experience for me that Sunday morning that I could hardly stay for the service. Had I not been sitting next to a young couple to whom I have grown very attached and who are taking giant strides forward in their spiritual and personal growth, I would definitely have left. I didn't really worship that morning as I simply went through the motions; and I didn't really hear the sermon. I think it was a wonderful service that never broke through to me in a meaningful way.
It was a "help me get out of this hole" kind of experience that carried through all of last week into the six month anniversary of Jan's death. It was in so many ways a wonderful week with such good times with my children and grandchildren and friends. Our family was not the only ones remembering this anniversary and that was comforting.
Every morning I sit in my Jacuzzi tub for about 30 minutes...it really helps a muscle problem I have in my lower back. During that time I have started reading a chapter a day in Naked Spirituality (A Life With God in 12 Simple Words) by Brian D. McLaren. In Chapter 4 he talks about what might be called the "here-ness" of God. At times we ask "Is anyone here?" and at other times we say "Here I am" or we hear God say "Here I am". He discusses the topic of learning to live in "here" with God.
So he suggests that "here" can help awaken us to our own situation as well. Here I am at this point in history...Here I am at this point in my own story...Here I am...just as I am. Here. Now. "Here" is the only place I can be to begin to awaken spiritually and to move on from this point in my story. He concludes the chapter by saing that as "we sense an inward vocation from God and toward God, we can respond with presentation, saying 'Here I am Lord. I present myself to you, presenting yourself to me.' We begin to live with a perpetual Here I am, and here you are in our hearts, inviting constant, vital connection, unbroken communion, lifelong friendship--starting here, starting right now.
Here. With Him here. That's a good place to be in the story of my life.