Thursday, April 28, 2011


“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

I’ve been thinking of my friend Lillian today. She’s in her late 90s and suffered a stroke yesterday. I’ve known her my entire life. I think my mom may have known her for her entire life too. She was a friend of my great-grandma and we all went to church together.

Lillian has always had white hair for as long as I can remember. I can picture her sitting five or six rows ahead of me and my grandma at church. She’s wearing a cream colored shirt with a high collar and a matching skirt with a long gold locket-like necklace in my memory. She was always tall. And she made note of my height as a teenager. “Don’t ever stoop. Be proud of your height,” she told me.

I also checked on my nest today and guess who’s hatching!

Three more to go.

Those baby birds got me to thinking how the theme for this week in my life has been “fragile”.

I just finished a book with that title by Lisa Unger for my book club.

We hunted eggs with ever increasing cracked shells on Tuesday because it finally wasn’t raining.

That day, we also found the bird’s nest and the five eggs it contained.

Now those eggs are hatching into pink, squirming masses of flesh that one day hope to become sparrows and fly away despite their fragile state.

And now my thoughts turn to Lillian, whose body has tired over the years more and more as age has taken its toll, but yet she’s one of those people to me who has always looked exactly the same for my entire life, and has had the same mood and mannerisms and concern for me forever too.

Her family surrounds her today much like the mother bird guards her new babies, taking great care in her condition and comfort.

And yet, one day, she will fly away to place where bodies never fail and comfort never ends. A place where God breathes new life into the weary and reunites loved ones with those gone before. A place where sickness and disease have no grasp on those at the foot of God’s own throne. A place where life will no longer be fragile, but everlasting and enduring.

I pray today that I meet you there.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


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