Friday, May 14, 2010


My colleague shared this wonderful poem with me the other day.

Daring Playfulness

Life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time,
all your weekends, and what do you get at the end of it?
I think that the life cycle is all backward.
You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live twenty
years in an old-age home. You get kicked out when you're too
young. You get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty
years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You go to college; you party until you're
ready for high school; you become a
little kid; you play. You have no responsibilities.
You become a little baby; you go back into the womb,
you spend your last nine months floating; and you
finish up as a gleam in somebody's eye.
- Chapter Four of Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith by Michael Yaconelli

That afternoon, I met the 96 year old husband of a woman who was dying. She was 78.

He said to me, "She wasn't supposed to die first." "Yea, I get that, it wasn't supposed to be like this." I said. He said, "I mean, look at her! Dying is so ... horrible. It's a horrible way to go."

That's when I thought of this poem and shared it's premise with him. He was amused and when he laughed, it filled the room with some tension-breaking levity. We talked about other things - what she was like, what their family was like, how she was so giving that hundreds of people called her "Mom."

The poignant moment came when we prayed together. He hobbled over with his cane, his daughter on his arm and their friend already sitting in the visitor chair near his wife's bed. Then he knelt at the foot of her bed. His cane fell to the floor. He bowed his head.

We all cried as we prayed for peace and anointed her spirit into God's Love. With tears in his eyes, he stood up and shared about her - how she was the gleam in his eye.

I wonder if we are the gleam in God's eye - every day of our life. Somehow I've forgotten that and I thank this man for reminding me that even when I am at the end of life, I am still in the beginning.

Give thanks to God—he is good and his love never quits. Say, "Save us, Savior God, round us up and get us out of these godless places, So we can give thanks to your holy Name, and bask in your life of praise." Blessed be God, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then everybody said, "Yes! Amen!" and "Praise God!" 1 Chronicles 16:34

What is backwards about this moment for you?

1 comment:

  1. What a touching way to use this humorous poem! So sweet.