One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

Sorrow and joy. The two are playmates, intertwining to weave the fabric of life. This last week has been more like one for joy, two for sorrow.

We had the profound priviledge of hosting our friends Vern and Aubrey and playing a small role in creating a time of rest and refreshing for them. In quiet moments, huddled-up on the sofa or telling jokes or just be-ing near one another, we drank deeply of friendship and are still basking in the joy of it. I don't know how to explain the experience of being with this couple, except to say that there is a kind of kindredness that is unusual, even inexplicable. They are gold, and I find Christ in their presence. They provide so much freedom for us to be where we are and say crazy things and still be known for who we are at the end of the day. It's as though Who They Are is Refuge. (Don't you wish they were your friends?)

But, then there was today. One friend (with whom I spent the morning) has lost her mother recently. Then the afternoon was with another friend whose four-month-old Downs Syndrome daughter died just weeks ago. I weep for their losses. And yet, there is joy. (And other things, for which I have no words.)

I don't even know how to pray anymore. I appreciate how my Catholic friends "hold people in prayer" without the slew of words and pontification. So I hold my friends in prayer, as if there's a place in my heart I can carry them with me. And this is for them:

"Oh I had a friend. I had a friend I loved.
Now I walk for miles
into dark forests of piano songs. I'm lost."

--Karen Peris (the innocence mission) in a tribute to her late mother
full lyrics to "I Never Knew You From the Sun" and Befriended album here