A year ago, an improvised explosive device exploded in Afghanistan and killed a young soldier we’d recently met. Only a month or two earlier, we’d had a good-bye barbecue in his honor. He entered heaven leaving behind his wife of a few months and his unborn baby girl. His name was Andrew.
That event shaped my perspective more than anything else this year.
When I feel whiny, I can hear my ungratefulness. I can palpate the bitter knot of discontent in my heart. I see how short-sighted I am, how my vision blurs when I forget.
I’ve watched the young widow face her shaken world with courage and cheer. I visited her in the hospital after their baby was born. I’ve seen her carry on and live her life with grace. And when I see her fortitude, I am inspired to face my life differently.
I admit that sometimes I hold my breath, waiting for tragedy to collide with my world. I’ve lost an assortment of people and felt the pain of disappointment and rejection and why wouldn’t I view the world through these scratched, cloudy glasses? A meteor could crash into the earth at any time and there’s no reason it shouldn’t crash on me. (I am a glass-half empty kind of girl. I am a glass shattered on the floor into a million pieces kind of girl.)
It’s a wonder we don’t all crawl under the bed and wait to die, when you look at it that way.
But I can’t look at it that way.
Loss hurts but love heals.
Life is fleeting and uncertain, but we have today.
And that is reason for joy.