Friday, March 26, 2021


Have you ever looked at a Kaleidoscope? When I was a kid, I loved those cardboard tubes with the hole on one side. Magnificent colors and design flooded my eyes as I peered into that hole. A twist to the right changed the visual display and a turn to the left yet another. Perhaps because I was a child before the internet – long before the internet – such a simple object could bring such delight. 

Today, I am looking in a kaleidoscope of dark colors and painful memories. Each little piece of brilliant colors and changes of light has turned into torturous memories of previous pain. Each piece familiar and each piece dim. Someone else is turning the wheel. It is spinning out of control. 

Death of a grandchild, I revisit that pain. Each layer of pain is now compounded by the most recent loss. I grieve not just this precious young man, but his brother, and his little cousin who was the first to go. Then I think of a beautiful great granddaughter whose life was snuffed out. Too much pain for one to bear. And yet, my pain pales to that of my children. We are separated by geography, experiences, and even emotions. 

These colors are not full of light. They are muted and dull. They are dark and murky. No vibrancy, no joy. I need time to adjust to each turn of the wheel. But there is no time. 

Fate or life or whatever forces are at work is turning that wheel too fast. Loss of home, sickness, death, tragedy, chaos, disorientation, each turn of the wheel brings another layer of painful memories and new pain. I’ve been here before. I am tired of being strong. I want to sit in sack clothe and ashes but there is no time. Life just keeps spinning in chaos. 

This is my lament. This is my reality. This is the painful existence of my life right now. Prayers will help. But they aren’t right now. Right now, I feel forced to peer through that hole of this kaleidoscope of pain and weep. Like the Laments of the Ancients, I will end with an affirmation of faith: 

  You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. (Psalm 118:28)