Friday, May 28, 2010

Centripetal Force of a Parent’s Love

I find myself fascinated of late by programs from National Geographic and History Channel, as well as from various readings, to learn that planet Earth is remarkably free from being devastated by stellar asteroids that tear through space by the millions. Planet Earth has been struck in the past, notably in the Yucatan and in Siberia. We do find small pieces of space stuff that have hit our planet but nothing like what slams into many other planets as a part of life in the great out-of-space. The reason given for our relative freedom from such disaster is the planet Jupiter. Jupiter has such an enormous sucking (centripetal) power that it sucks into itself those asteroids and flying stellar debris that might otherwise slam into our earth. In other words, Jupiter is looking out for us.

Mother's Day is past, Father's Day is coming on, and I think how much centripetal force parents bring onto themselves for those of us who are their children. Every day they bear our bruises and burdens, take onto themselves our fears and failures, absorb our sorrows, act as healers, angels of mercy, forgivers, lovers and menders. More than any parent can know, or any child can know, parents are like Jupiter, shielding the child from the rocks and dangers of all this physical and emotional debris floating around in their lives. For myself, even though my parents are well situated in their eternal place in the heavens, I know they still, from that position, in my mind and heart, keep busy centripicating (forgive me Mr. Webster), the hurts and fears that come to their earthly child. Bless you, my mother, bless you, my father, bless your child with grateful praise for so great a world as this one in which we live.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lights Coming On Again

The beginning of the First World War in 1914 brought forth from Sir Edward Grey, England's Foreign Secretary, the prophetic comment, "The lights are going out everywhere in Europe..." This comment was to be a truly prophetic analysis of four years of death and destruction. What I try to remember in my reading of history of that war was that in the spring of 1919 those lights began to come on again. They've come on after every war, after every natural disaster, after every personal tragedy, after grief, loss and heartache in any of our lives. I cannot know how many beautiful children died this very day somewhere in the world or how many marriages came apart or how many failures there have been or defeats suffered. Their name is legion of course. Whatever the number, they were lights going out in someone's life.

Then, I look out the back window where I live, out across the patio, and I see what it means in Genesis 8:22, "seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall never cease." The caretaker here on this Thursday morning is cutting swaths through the burgeoning grass, farmers down the line are putting in corn in straight rows that go on for half a mile without a single flaw in the row, birds are making their nests and bees are buzzing for all their worth. Not only this but everywhere there is recovery after sickness (I love the Prayer After Recovery in the Episcopal Prayer Book), comfort after sorrow, hope after despair and life after death. Perhaps there could have been a better world created by the Creator God but this one is pretty good as far as I'm concerned. I've done some gardening, fed the birds, petted a dog, laughed at some jokes, loved my neighbors and especially my family and feel this may be the best there ever was. Life does that, making lights come on again like a 1000 kilowatt bulb right in our faces.