|Cliff in Shirohama, Japan|
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
I took this photos in Shirohama, Japan, the day before I came home. The growth of flowers and vegetation along the seam of the volcanic cliff seemed intentional, as if someone had planted a garden there.
As I sat in church contemplating all that is happening in my life, I thought about the sensation and texture of sadness and how it feels like what was good and whole is falling away. Separation is a natural part of life, but oh, it's so damned painful and so full of hard, hard lessons. What could be the blessing in that?
Because of course there is blessing in all that happens. All one needs to do is look and see that a great crop of blessing and grace is happening all around us at all times. As my heart breaks, it opens up little seams where new things can grow, like the flowers on that cliff in Shirohama. Seeds of hope and transformation, love and joy, are already planting themselves in the freshly opened cracks in my heart. Grief's tears are purposeful, urging the seeds to sprout, so all that was lost is replaced. Not as it was before--God never promises that--but new and different and reminding us of goodness' constant presence in the face of loss.