June 23, 2018
For now, the rains have passed. For now, I can get out in my back yard and see such pleasant sights as met my eyes this morning:
Pink, a lovely color! When we say ‘in the pink’ we mean in the best possible condition, especially of health. Energetic, upbeat, with glowing cheeks. As for me,
I wish I could say I’m ‘in the pink’—
that rosy thoughts are all I think—
Rosy for now, but in a blink
My face grows pale—my spirits sink…
Such an observation calls to mind another definition of ‘pink,’ familiar to you seamstresses and gardeners out there: ‘to cut or to pierce.’ Think pinking shears, and the cut-edges of dianthus petals.
I am learning, as an awake person should, that life is not always ‘roses, roses, roses,’ and it does more good to work with this fact than resent it. It’s like this: I’m feeling sprightly this morning—grateful and alive, in my garden and energetically about my work. Yet here come the waves of ‘cut and pierced.’ One reason: the soul-shredding of current events. But chiefly because someone important to me has died. My heart is missing my good friend and fellow teacher, who is no longer around to help me in the work we did for many years. When I check attendance in Sunday school tomorrow, one person will be missing. His spirit is with us, but his dear face? No more.
The fullness of these realities is what I have to work with today. Today being all I have, and more than enough! The poet Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Write an excellent Sunday school lesson, that’s what. And present it well.
These body-blows of pain are our companions, yes? And increasingly so as we get older. As Willie Nelson sings, “It’s not something you get over, but it’s something you get through.”
And so pink can be our angel today. What heavenly news does it bring? “Rosy cheeks and wounded hearts, intertwined. Life is lovely, and multi-faceted, and ever-evolving.” As my friend of blessed memory put it, “We are enfolded in an unfolding mystery.” And as I like to say, quoting Moses: “Underneath are the everlasting Arms.”