I woke up this morning to the first BobWhite call I've heard this year. And I made it to church and stayed the entire time, without crying. A first.
I find it helpful and interesting that the journey from Easter to Pentacost has mirrored my journey with David's death. It is not often that life here and now lines up with the life of the church year.
Today is Pentacost, the day the Holy Spirit breathed new life on the disciples. Our church's name day, Church of the Holy Spirit. David, the rector, spoke about the Holy Spirit being represented by the Wild Goose in Celtic Christianity and he told a wonderful story about the power of the mama goose. If you have ever been near one you know that they are not to be triflied with. I love the idea that the Holy Spirit is more like the wild goose than the dove that we are so used to.
Death is not just about the one who dies. The Holy comes into the life of those still living, breathing new life, shaking everything up. Like the desciples I cannot go back to my old life but I have no idea what will come next. I have lost the other who provided a rudder, helped shape my life. The Holy does not come to provide comfort or ease or even a better life, it comes to shake things up. To chase me like that wild goose, scaring me, causing me to scramble and struggle, harrassing me until I move in the direction it wants me to move.
Once death happens, there is no going back. My journey, having David die and being left behind, is exactly the journey the disciples took. The lovely amazing future we expected no longer exists. The beloved is gone. We are lost, confused, angry, resigned. But we have been changed and there is no going back to life before. What now? The beloved is with us always but never to be held, seen, touched again. And we are pushed, changed, asked to do what we cannot imagine doing. The Holy working in our lives. It is not comfortable, it is not easy, it can be terrifying...but I am comforted by the knowledge that the wild goose Holy essence is with me. Pushing, asking, expecting...but with me. Not seperate, not above or below, in front or behind...with.
That is the commandment and the promise....we are to be with each other and we will be with the Holy and the Holy will be with us. And all will be well and all manner of things will be well.