In which bluebirds and blackbirds fly together

by Craig on September 22, 2011

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dyingsource

Sara is dying…
and I can’t look away…
and I feel the dark doorway…
eternal joy on the other side…
but approaching the door…
I think it’s this…

Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed(MT28:5-8)

The Greek word translated as “overjoyed” is:

χαρα

pronounced like car-uh – but with a guttural Jewish “ch” like in chutzpah.

But it’s ok today to pronounce it like the name Kara…

which rhymes with Sara.

The Greek word for Joy is only one letter removed from Sara

χαρα (kara)
σαρα (sara)

and the letter χ removed…
and replaced by σ…
are the first and last letters in this word…

Χριστός

(pronounced kreestose with that Jewish “ch” and the rolled Greek “r”) (Christ)
and the σ looks funny because that’s how the Greeks wrote σ at the end of a word

and here’s the math…

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy

and this gives me happy-happy bluebirds singing joy…

but joy a multifaceted gem…

it can be bluebirds…

or the deep Christian joy, regardless of feelings, that knows a loving God is in control…

or like in the passage from Matthew, bluebirds mingled with blackbirds…

and I’m feeling deeply right now…

and can’t help but wonder if this is the same joy that Sara sees now.

She is gaining eternity and there must be joy…
but to discount any and all fear is wrong…

I just know it.

Even though Sara is the only one who can be certain.

Still…
I feel both joy and fear…
I feel it bone deep.
I won’t discount either.

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dyingsource

From this side of eternity, despite our romanticizing of it, death remains an unfamiliar dark doorway. Death is the end of everything definitively known to us and trusted by us – countered by the hope of what is believed. Are any of us honest, despite our faith, when we say we have no fear of death?

It’s a stranger bearing joy (χαρα) mingled with fear.

Paradox

Death is something definite, vivid…
pointing to the mystical and unimaginable…

And dying alone must be dreadful…

But dear Sara is not alone.

She has untold prayers directed her way…

she has family and closest friends at her bedside…

I know she has angels brushing her with wings of love…

keeping any demons at bay…

and she has God reaching through the dark doorway…

for even if a Christian dies alone…

a Christian is never alone.

I’m thinking of you Sara…

joy mingled with fear…

praying hard…

believing hard…

loving hard.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando September 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Dear Craig,
“Are any of us honest, despite our faith, when we say we have no fear of death?”
It is the unknown, the promise, the journey untrod, the path where in childhood was recalled in hope and unadulterated faith, yet, in adulthood, now brings all the doubts of our sins and failures to light.
May Sara have the faith of a child at these moments, may she have no fear, may she rest, assured and blessed, in the arms of the Lord.
May God surround her and you with His loving grace at this moment.
“Praying hard, believing hard, loving hard” – the best that anyone can possibly do.
My heart cries out for Sara and for you, my friend.
As always, blessings,
Martha

Reply

Craig September 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Martha, I understand absolutely everything you wrote. And from everything I hear, Sara has gone into this with that faith of a child. I just worry because of my non-child like faith. And thank you for your prayers for her mostly – but me too, my heart is a mess. Thank you Martha, and blessings to you too my friend.

Reply

Debbie September 23, 2011 at 12:46 am

I loved how you came found Sara in the Greek word for joy! That was so special and precious!
God bless you as you keep such a faithful prayer vigil! And help us to too!

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