Fleeting Colors & Fleeting Life

I awakened sobbing in the middle of the night with no well-formed thoughts just deep sadness. When morning came I still felt out of sorts and teary. Some days (carrying this grief) are just like that. I can’t always figure it out.

Thinking a brisk walk in the crisp fall air to Mass might help, I put one foot in front of the other, crying most of the way to church. Once there, the familiar prayers brought a measure of peace. Kneeling after communion and still despondent, I prayed for renewed hope.

When I opened my eyes I saw a rainbow reflection in the floor. Mesmerized by the beauty of reflected light, I quickly grabbed my phone to snap a photo.

After communion on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

People sometimes frown on picture taking in church so I thought perhaps I should have waited until after the final prayer. But when I looked, the brilliant colors had already vanished.

I’m surprised at how well my phone camera captured the colors. Yet, the image of the rainbow reflection is a poor substitute for what I experienced. The qualities of light live in a way that cannot be captured and conveyed. If you understand this, it’s only because you have experienced those qualities of light for yourself.

I face a similar frustration in trying to convey something of Evan’s life. His life can’t be captured in words and images. The clearest videos where I see him move and hear his voice are just snippets removed from the context of a whole wide world. They fall terribly short of being in his presence. It’s almost as if I feel a need to apologize if you never knew him. He was so worth knowing.

This is from the same photo, just zoomed in and cropped.

. . .all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.

James 1:17 NABRE

Yet, as fleeting as life is, every person and every day is a sacred gift from the “Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow.” Each one is of inestimable value.

Today my voice joins the voices of so many others who grieve the loss of a loved one when I urge you, dear reader, to hold your family close. Be kind to each other. Go out of your way to show you care, even when it doesn’t seem well received. Presume good intentions. Let mercy lead you and love guide you. Then your regrets will be few and your hope will live on, come what may.

You may even find your hope rekindled by fleeting colors of light.

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