“Stay Gold” by Swedish Folk Duo, First Aid Kit is a contemplative song that could be the soundtrack to the prophet Isaiah and Solomon’s prophetic ponderings on the human experience:
For as Isaiah said:
“All life is like the grass,
and its glory like a flower;
The grass will wither and die,
and the flower falls,
But the word of the Lord,
will endure forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.”
These melancholy notes have been playing in my mind and heart after recently officiating the memorial service of a friend and parishioner that died unexpectedly, just shy of her 40th birthday.
We truly wish life could…stay gold.
In grief we weep, but we mourn in hope (1 Thess 4:13) and our tears testify that we are living life from the marrow of our being.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” -Helps
In moments when you are honoring a life and seeking to comfort one another in the loss, we who are followers of the resurrected One, remember that every dusk is followed by the dawn. Eventually the Word of the Lord will fully come to pass and we will have every tear forever wiped away.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)
This truth was beautifully captured in Czeslaw Milosz poem, “This World”
It appears that it was all a misunderstanding.
What was only a trial run was taken seriously.
The rivers will return to their beginnings.
The wind will cease in its turning about.
Trees instead of budding, will tend to their roots.
Old men will chase a ball, a glance in the mirror —
They are children again.
The dead will wake up, not comprehending.
Till everything that happened has unhappened.
What a relief! Breathe freely, you who suffered much.
Someday we will end our crying on streets of gold. The golden ending of days will return in the fullest sunrise the world has ever whispered.
Then we will truly weep no more, but until then, we sing songs of mourning tinged with hope.
I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob’s Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on ‘that’ side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.
How can a news organization possibly cover a horrific community tragedy, respecting those most affected — victims, their families and friends — while simultaneously serving the larger community? Short answer: It is not always possible.