From our Pastor

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling –  (II Corinthians 5:1-2)

“Maggie, you’ve got teeth!”

            Maggie stands and smiles, modeling them for us.  “Madonna, eat your heart out,” she says, and laughs in her husky, earthy way.

            It’s quite a contrast:  the false perfection of the new, white-white teeth against the brown, wrinkled background of her crooked, beaten face.

            It only took a year.  “Wait for your check.”  “Wait for your teeth.”  Maggie has learned patience.  (Like everybody here at the shelter, she has had to.)  She knows it takes a long, long time for anything to trickle down to a shelter in a basement. 

            Maggie accepts she is decaying, knows parts waste away – bodies, minds.  Having no teeth is a trial, but after so many trials and losses – abusive men, dead-end jobs, poor housing and rich landlords, psychiatrists and social workers, breast cancer; a best friend who lost all hope; a good friend who was murdered – you learn to endure, and to live with little things like having no teeth.

            “You really look great, Mags,” he says setting up for bingo.

            “Well, thank you dear, but they are just a plug in a leak, you know.  The body dies, the soul is eternal, as they say.  But at least I can chew now, no more soup and mush,” she says, and smiles brightly again.

            “Alleluia,” he answers, and stops to gaze at her.  But it’s not her new white-white teeth he is struck by – although he is very happy she finally has them – it’s her old laughing eyes – and the light that has never left her.  The beautiful, strong light that no one has been able to blacken, or rob, or put out, or take away – that no force can kill.  The miraculous, amazing light she has, somehow, never lost faith in.*

            That, my friends, is the light of resurrection.  And yes, every day it feels like a part of our body is wasting away.  We are getting older every day whether we want to admit it or not.  But our eyes can always tell another story.  They can tell a story of faith.  They can tell a story of resurrection.

            What do your eyes tell you, tell others?  Do they speak of hope and joy and laughter even in the midst of pain?  Do they speak of faith?  Do they speak of resurrection?  I pray they have that strong light that Maggie’s eyes have

*Story by Neil Paynter  — From Eggs and Ashes:  Practical and Liturgical Resources for Lent and Holy Week.  Edited by Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill

Recent Posts