Second time around

When my home flooded a second time, some folks, wanting to be kind, said things like, It must be easier since you’ve already been through it before.

I thought about this when a friend posted on Facebook about losing her hair a second time as a result of a new chemotherapy protocol. My heart broke with her as she showed a picture of her beautiful hair once again on the floor of the shower.

In case you are wondering, second time around isn’t easier. Getting through a trauma the first time and coming to a place of acceptance of a new normal, is a good place to be. For me it was a feeling of victory and achievement and joy and a big high five to God.

When the same thing happens all over again, and brings friends alongside, it is devastating. Devastating. Really, God?

Yesterday I travelled out in the Georgia countryside to see a field of daffodils that a woman at church had told us about. Sloping down from an abandoned home was a hillside awash with yellow.

In this part of Georgia, daffodils have naturalized with abandon. One plants a few bulbs (or many) and watches them increase, often in unexpected and unlikely places.

I imagined owners of this now empty home decades ago planting a few bulbs around the door. Over the years, each Spring the daffodils bloomed, and then died. Hidden underground, the bulbs appeared ugly and dead. Yet unseen, beauty gone, the bulbs held bits of life curled up within.

Rock–looking, the daffodils bulbs divided. Squirrels moved some to new places. Primarily, rain and flowing water carried most to other locations.

Year after year a rhythm of apparent death and ugliness followed by green and yellow beautiful surprises.

This is the rhythm we walk through each Lent. A dance of apparent death and ugliness and of beauty and eternal life.

Helped along by holy waters–baptism, tears, and, yes, even floods.

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