I appreciated the snow that fell Wednesday morning. I needed another light, but thorough, blanket coating of white. Life has been moving at a meteoric speed when it sometimes brakes into a side-slide of abrupt glacial-speed, life-stopping challenges.
We’ve all met those side-slides into the wall, where the earth actually seems to stand still, but actually everyone around us keeps scurrying around. Sometimes we want to shout: “Why isn’t everyone stopping, don’t you know what is happening?”
During these life-halting times, we are actually gifted with a different perspective — like standing on top of a forested mountain and looking down at all the people scurrying into the city for a day of work. Everything that seemed so enormously important yesterday, may today appear to be an unwarranted microscopic dust particle because you now have superhero vision to see past the dust. You walk over the dust, but out of necessity you focus on the challenge in front of you — one step at a time.
But those life-halting challenges:
Sometimes it’s health-related — cancer, chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes.
Sometimes it’s family issues — divorce, family discord, financial strain.
Sometimes it’s children challenges — their health and psychological well-being, drug or alcohol addictions, just raising them.
Sometimes is just life — mourning the death of family and friends, rejoicing the birth of new life.
And sometimes there are accompanying tears, anger, mourning, hurt — and somehow strength, peace and love eventually shine through.
I can only suppose that the women who were somberly trudging to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his body with spices just after sunrise were wondering “Why isn’t the world stopping?”
Of course we know through Mark 16 that the women were focusing on how they would be able to perform their one task ahead of them with a huge stone that needed to be moved. They actually asked one another: “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But they continued to trudge to the tomb in mourning, probably with tears running down their cheeks, when they “looked up, and saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.”
The first chapter of James reminds us that when trouble or trials come our way — not “if’, but “when.” We can expect the hard challenges of life in some way or form — but we can consider it an opportunity for great joy.
May we all “look up” during this Easter season to find the joy. And whatever season we are in, may we appreciate the simple, but life-blessing acts of love and kindness like a moved stone.
Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.