And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Bitter and the Sweet

At our wedding, Brian and I borrowed something from the Jewish tradition called "the Bitter and the Sweet." We both drank from a glass of bitter (looked like wine but was actually 100% cranberry juice with no sweetner....blech) and a glass of sweet (white fruit wine). It symbolized our awareness of what lay ahead of us in life....bitter and sweet.....and a willingness to face it together. I had both bitter and sweet moments over the weekend. I realize that happens on a daily basis...bitter moment of a bad email from work but the sweetness of a phone call from a long lost friend. The bitterness of remembering a loved one who has passed away but also having the sweetness of remembering fondly the times you had together. The bitterness of changing yet another dirty diaper from your poor sick child but the sweetness of extra cuddles and the smell of cleanly bathed baby. Sunday morning was sweet. In our church, we all come forward for the Lord's Supper and gather together in a circle around the table. We sing the words "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord." As I played, I looked around the circle of faces and felt an overwhelming gratitude for God's goodness and saw clear evidences of his mercy all around me. I saw the family of God gathered together from many different backgrounds, all united in our faith in the Lord. I saw a father, home from Afghanistan with his arm around his son. I saw family members who were in town having celebrated a wedding the night before of two beautiful people. I saw the faces of two dear friends from Michigan who I wish I could see more often. I was struck in that moment by the goodness of the Lord. It was one of those moments that I wish could be captured on camera and kept in an album by my bedside table. So when things aren't going well- when I'm exhausted and frustrated with life, I could look at that picture and remember that feeling of "rightness." Less than 6 hours later I was forced to face the bitterness that this world so cruelly shells out to people. The bitterness of illness and disease- of broken relationships - of immense pain and suffering. None of which seemed fair. In the morning worship service at church, my pastor preached on Jesus' words from the cross "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" and we used the words of Psalm 22 to corporately lament the hardships this life can bring. On the cross, Jesus identified with us in our earthly sufferings, experienced our pain and himself lamented and asked God why he was allowing his suffering to continue. All in one day- I found myself lamenting and tasting the bitter but also remembering Jesus' great sacrifice that allows for sweetness- a day to come when all will be as it should be.


Loris Nebbia said...

I love to think about paradoxes and opposites and I love your poetic title, too.

Lisa said...

"...when all will be as it should be."

Can that be tomorrow? I'd be down with that.