Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Service of Lessons and Carols

I found a new love this morning. The Methodist service of Lessons and Carols. Our church brought in a professional storyteller to weave the journey of Christ's coming to the world. The congregation sang hymns between the passages of scripture from the Old Testament Prophets to the Good News of the New Testament.

As I sat rocking Molly singing one of the hymns, Tim and I caught eyes. He smiled at both of us and tears welled up in my eyes. I could have just as easily been rocking Cara. It made me miss her so much. The finality of her absence still hits me at times.

As the service continued, a beautiful member of our congregation stood to sing Breath of Heaven, Mary's voice in Jesus's coming. The woman is one of those refreshing untrained voices, who simply listens to the song and hears the notes. Even more beautiful was knowing she carries a son, and that as she placed her hand on her belly, her 20-week old baby was likely bouncing inside.

It was a completely divine moment until I heard soft sniffles beside me. How could I have forgotten? My dear, dear friend should be just as pregnant, their due dates days apart. She should know the joy of a new life growing within her womb. And she did until two months ago when it all came to a painful end.

I held my little Molly close with one arm and wrapped the other around my friend. I heard the sniffles become louder, the shakes more violent, and in that moment I learned what it meant to be in the shoes of those who sat next to me so many Sundays. The friends who sat there as I cried through sermons, as babies were baptized into the church, as pregnant women were celebrated around me. So many times I had the gentle touch of a friend's hand on my shoulder as I sat and wept.

Today I felt completely and utterly helpless. I wanted to take my friend's pain away. I longed to absorb all the pain from her, to take it as my own. I knew my friend was hurting, and in that moment I was also hurting so desperately for her. It made me realize what my friends must have felt all those months.

I suppose this is what it means to be body of Christ, to share in one another's brokenness and desperately pray for redemption. This world is broken, but I'm eternally thankful for family, friends and church, who have walked this painful journey with us as we seek to find healing.

1 comment:

Beth said...

what a beautiful post.. i have spent many sundays crying in church too. you are such a good friend to put your arm around her as she cried. i bet she was crying for you too, and hoping one day she would hold a little sweetheart in her arms like you are, all the while crying for the one she lost.

my recent post was about how i read in a book called "decembered grief" to read the lyrics to christmas carols, really really read them if music is difficult.. and it's true.. the lyrics are about light and hope and comfort.

wishing you peace with molly and a presence of cara.