Love. Death. Life.


          Years and years before, on a dark night bereft of breezes and the windvoices I longed to hear, unable to sleep, and with a storm seeking release, I left my sleeping family, seeking solitude to be alone with my sorrow. But my husband heard me and soon, he was with me. We ached over the pain in each other’s heart, but we had no words. None that could brush away the tempests of grief that blew wild within our broken hearts. We sat together in that deep, dark stillness, bound close by the weave of a thousand memories and yearnings.

          In that stillness, we heard something light fall to the floor. I remained locked in my world, but my husband, wondering what it was, got up to look. It was an old prayer card that had never fallen before in our presence, but chose that very minute we were there, to leave its perch for us.

          In the dim light, my husband read the prayer softly.

Make me a channel of Your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring Your love;
Where there is injury Your pardon, Lord;
And where there’s doubt true faith in You.

Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of Your peace.
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, only light;
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Make me a channel of Your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
In giving to all men that we receive;
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

          The final words parted the veils over our sorrow for one brief moment. My beloved wept as the silver arrow of truth pierced his heart.

          For our choice of Love years ago, God had bequeathed us grief. But from that grief – life. Because only death through love could light the flame of life in dying souls. We, like so many before us, had to suffer death – for life to bloom in us and in others.

          Short years after our choice of Love, in a gentle tenderness, He had asked of us an offering we never dreamed we’d ever be asked. In love and for love, we broke ourselves to give, never knowing how far that giving would ribbon out, streaming life into wilting souls.

          God never said the giving He calls us to would be painless, without cost. A sacrifice always exacts a toll on our earthly selves. It is in complete giving to all men that we receive the most bitter of mortal wounds.

          But as in the prayer, it is those very wounds which mark and set us apart for eternal life.       


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