"I feel just like I'm sinking, and I claw for solid ground,
I'm pulled down by the undertow, I never thought I could feel so low,
In all the darkness, I feel like letting go". Sarah Mc Lachlan
We can have it all. Money, property, health, great vacations, everything the good life can provide,
and yet, we can be as empty inside as a vast, bare cathedral, where the only interruption is the noise of our own frantic thoughts as we rush to 'keep up' in the hollow thing we have foolishly tagged as 'life'.
It's no doubt unusual in this busy world - to stop and look upon this reality, but I often feel these days that this is a truth which haunts us just beneath the surface of our creaking planet.
So many live so frantically, because just below that veneer, where you can almost taste fear, they live so totally and entirely....alone.
In the days prior to our fall into this misery, something of the tragedy of this estate was, no doubt intentionally, touched upon in those earliest moments in Eden.
There, as the creative deeds of the Lord come to a crescendo, when all the 'furnishings' are in place and man is brought forth to focus the new order upon its maker- the universe, finely prepared to allow an expression of God's majesty and care, it is then found to be short of what is crucially needed to make it truly good.
Man simply cannot live alone amidst such a realm. To be truly whole and fulfilled, there must be another which is truly part of him, part of the world and also uniquely themselves as well.
The making of Eve brings about not only a physical completion to the life of the created order, it teaches us that our lives can only truly be 'complete' when they are part of something more than just ourselves.
Our actions, cares, passions and desires only become inherently enriched and vital when we see how they 'clothe' the life of those we care about, granting them the ability to flourish and know a measure of some degree of mending in parts of their time here.
Having lost many who are close to me, I still find that this 'work', this giving to bring a deeper beauty or joy, is one of the richest things we can do with our days here, and this is indeed the 'pattern' to which we have been called - to give that there may indeed be something deeper and truly enduring.
The poison of the fall from the garden means we all know the cold of loneliness. In a world where we have become so deeply severed from all that we were meant to be, where death and pain mark and shadow every waking moment, it could not be otherwise,
but as a song I once heard stated, 'He has hallowed this path of sorrow' - Christ has taken the very horror of our existence and made it the means of His victory, His giving of the life of God back to His fallen children. As we can know love, can share love, life and death can now become defined by something far deeper than our oh so real pain and sorrow.
The call though the 'valley' we walk is one to a table, richly furnished by grace, where our heads are anointed as welcomed children, where a sure and certain promise hurries us into His eternal goodness, His redeeming work towards us forever, and there is the refuge, the true haven, for all who are alone.
Jesus Christ, the one who brakes the power of our alienation, will be with us forever,
and in Him, all things are made new.