My awesome wife asked if she could share a guest post and of course my response was YES! For those who don’t know her, my wife is also a pastor and has served as a chaplain in hospital and health care settings along with serving in congregational ministry. She’s amazing. So…Beauty and Companionship at the Turn…
I ventured into my garden to gather some of the last tomatoes and flowers from my cutting garden and noticed that some of the bumblebees were a bit sluggish in the chill. As I puttered around snipping herbs I noticed one bee on a large flower lying very still with its legs up in the air. It was barely moving. Soon another bee landed on the flower and I had thought it would drink nectar or gather pollen and I went about my gardening.
When I looked back both bees were clasped together tightly to ward off the chill and the drizzle that was starting to fall and I felt the wistful beauty of that moment.
I’ve felt that feeling many times before, in hospital rooms, in homes and at hospice centers. When one phase of life is turning to the next we often cling to those we love. It is most apparent as death approaches and we must say goodbye to our loved ones until we too make that turn on the last journey of this life.
What isn’t so apparent is that I see this beautiful clasping in other settings as well. Most frequently (and loudly) as children and parents work through the transition both to and from the preschool at our church. Many children are a bit challenged at first and though they might not admit it, so do their parents. Then, a few hours later those same children are often carted out howling because they want to stay and play longer. We humans form deep attachments.
We are facing a big turn in our family. It is senior year for our twins and I want to be like these beautiful bees- clinging with arms and legs to these wonderful kids. The difference, though, is that they are only ending one phase and they are so ready to fly off and explore everything that God has in store for them. I can’t confine them to this little garden any longer, though I’ll be delighted when they return to visit.
I think, sometimes, this is how I feel about end of life too. John 10:10 talks about abundant life, and I feel that there are folks who are no longer able to have abundant life here on earth. We could try to keep them here, but that would be selfish and not for their benefit. They are ready to embrace the final turn and transition to life abundant with God. Though hearts are heavy there is also much love and gratitude.