A few weeks ago my roommate (who's also the person I get to share my office with at work) and I were given the opportunity to attend this conference. I don't what we expected and I'm still not sure what all we received, but this I know: it felt like a bath of encouragement for my creativity. I walked in feeling parched and left feeling inspired, driven, excited, and not alone. My favorite speaker began his session with this song and when he was finished he asked us to analyze it. What is it about exactly. Talk amongst yourselves. Discuss.
Season and I both blurted out what we thought it was about, one of us said Death and the other said Life and we concluded that we couldn't both be right.
But we were. The song is about a funeral, the death of someone who was loved. But the song is also about a wedding, the beginning of something new.
How can it be both?
This week I told a friend that it feels like sometimes I have a wedding and a funeral going on in my soul. Both ends of the spectrum of joy and they land square in my center. The conversation was precipitated by the reading of Isaiah 54. I've read it so many times before and never thought: this is about me. But the other day, when I opened the Message Bible I keep on my desk at work, those words were for me. And I felt the tears choke me up.
I felt undone.
Because this passage is about a funeral and a wedding. It's about acknowledging death, the lack, the emptiness, and finding hope in the middle of that, birthing children in spite of barrenness.
It is not about lying to yourself about who you are and who you want to be.
It is about letting the facts speak for themselves. It is about telling the truth.
The truths which hurt. And the truths which delight.
Someone stopped by the office later on in the day, a missionary from a far away land. We were told later that she'd gone through many miscarriages, and when finally they had a baby boy born to them, he died a short while later due to poor medical care in the area in which they serve. I felt the tears choke me again.
But here is the rest of the story: she and her husband run an orphanage in the mountains of this European country, where abuse and neglect and poverty leave no one unscathed. They have adopted dozens of children into their care over the past 20 years. They have not let their heartbreak or death ruin their story, though it is a part of it.
It's about a funeral and a wedding, see?
Both. At the same time.