Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dead Leaves

Leaves brown and brittle crumble through the Blonde Boy’s fingers.

Tiny broken pieces float silently to their grave.

His hands reach for more leaves to crunch in his grasp.

There was no horror in watching the dead become dust.

The pale coloring and parched foliage gave evidence to the end of life.

Everyone knew it was time—

Time to die.
Time to return to the earth.
And begin again.

One lone leaf green and vibrant sits at my feet.

The Blonde Boy’s youthful eyes spot it.

“This one won’t crumble.” I tell him.

There it lay green—full of life surrounded by the brittle and broken.

Life rests among the dead.

It fell before it’s time—

The boy’s hand inch closer.

“It’s green,” I remind him.

Life still thrives in it—today. Even just for today.

In spite of my lesson on colors and chlorophyll he reaches out.

He needs to touch, experience, and know the truth with his own hands.

His small hand squeezes around life.

I wait for his hand to open for the green foliage to return to shape.

But it doesn’t.

Instead…it crushes to a thousand pieces and falls flat to the ground.

How could this be?

It wasn’t time.

It still had life in it…

There at my feet life and death lie together.

It wasn’t right.

How many others had the life squeezed from them too soon. Even in these last couple weeks?

A little’s boy’s mother
A friend’s boss
A young daughter
A friend’s favorite uncle
A co-worker’s aunt
A student’s teacher
A friend's father

We knew their time would come—but not now. Not today. Not this year.

Its just not right.

“Why?" spills out of my heart, interrupting the prayer of peace for the ones who mourn.

If it is true He holds all things in His hands…Does He also hold death?

Can we trust Him to care for the heartbroken husband as he cares for his young son— alone? Can we trust Him to comfort the ache of a mother as she buries her little girl? Can we trust Him even in death?

Can we trust Him when He says it is—

Time to die.
Time to return to the earth.
And begin again—with Me.

Can we trust Him to bring life to the dead?

My friends, I don’t always understand, but something—Someone urges me to trust…even in death.

God, stretch out Your grace across the many who mourn and say good-bye to loved ones.

This blog is dedicated in the memory of:

Elaine, a beautiful wife and mother of a 2-year old son,
Phil –who inspired my friend to live life to the fullest,
Little Emma whom I never met, but know if I did her 6-year old heart would have captured mine.
My friend’s favorite uncle-Joey,
Margaret, educator of many children,
Lydia's dear father,
And the beloved aunt of my husband’s boss.

Although I never met your loved ones—I felt your grief this week.
Praying comfort over you all.

Songs to Comfort

You Wouldn’t Cry for Me Today by Mandisa

No More Tears by David Nevue

Reflective Scriptures

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."  John 11:25 NIV
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. Jesus was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.  Colossians 1:15-17 The Message

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  John 14:6 NIV


  1. Very classy and thoughtful. God is not threatened by our questions and he is thrilled with our trust which is demonstrated by declaring his goodness when we can only understand with our hearts and not our heads

  2. It always amazes me how timely your messages are. I lost a friend this week to cancer. Mary-Louise was 48. The word "why" reverberated like a heavy object dropped in a quiet church sanctuary. It echoed in my soul, in my tears and in my heavy heart. The answers slowly continue to come to me through prayer and thankfully, through your blog. Blessings to you.

  3. I have read so many amazing stories today..and each one has brought tears. The only words I can utter are, "Thank You."

    Thank you Laura. Thank you.

  4. Laura, thanks for the timely words.
    Cancer has intruded on our family once again so we are beginning to try to deal with all of these questions & emotions & eventualities of facing death - once again.