Friday, April 22, 2011

Mama Bean is feeling the imbalanced balance of Good Friday

Last night, our friend's father died. He had traveled to Cowtown to visit his dad, he felt likely for the last time, and he was, sadly, correct. He is a wonderfully gentle and wise mentor and friend to our church family and Papa Bean, and I imagine he discovered much of who he is at the knee of his father - what a beautiful legacy to be reflected in the loving qualities of your children! It was a bittersweet introduction to Good Friday morning to read of his father's death.

This afternoon, Papa Bean's uncle lost an emotionally fraught and protracted battle with a confusing kettle of medical problems that the doctors were unfortunately unable to solve before his body gave up. His family has been through an absolute wringer of medical craziness - I can only imagine their exhaustion, shock, and feelings of emptiness. Their father is dead, and at peace now, but their lives continue. It is hard to feel the comfort of his peace when they are not at peace themselves - when they have endured weeks without peace as he suffered.

Also this afternoon, Papa Bean's cousin gave birth to a bouncing, over 9 lb baby boy! We heard the news just as we preparing to leave the family gathering for home - it was a delicious shot of sweetness at the end of an already bitter-bittersweet day. There is joy in birth. There is joy in meeting with family. There is joy... in the sadness.

This is what Good Friday teaches us, right? The joy in sadness. That's why it is called "Good" this day when Jesus suffered so intensely and so completely for the hearts and souls of humankind. There is a terrible imbalance to the world - sin, death, pain. And an inconceivable imbalance corrects it - death and pain, but he was without sin.

I haven't put my heart and mind into Lent this year, I was preoccupied with Sprout and my own, like, stuff. Awesome excuse, right? /sigh. But today, I felt a certain calmness, a quietness and steadiness in my steps. I am calmed by Papa Bean's return to stay-at-home status. I am steadied by a (perhaps fleeting) feeling of competence in my mothering, at least for today. And I am quieted - by the sadness of friends and family, by the miracle of birth, by the silence of death. It is a Good Day, I know, in the midst of all this Earthly bitter-sweet, and I am caught up in it, in these monumental shifts and events - down here, and in the Heavens...


  1. Nice to meet you! I have read and commented on many of papa bean's tweets!

    Seems to me, your two off spring will be eloquent and deep thinking people....enjoy each moment...they are fleeting...even the rough ones!

  2. Jo, this is very nice. Thank you for posting this. Brought tears to my eyes.