|After church today Dorie asked if we could visit Arie's grave together. Its been a year and a day since her home-going.|
Holly and I talked about shoes, mixing bowls, generous friends,
and then we fell silent, looking out across the muddy field.
Tiny droplets fell on my cheeks, and lightly misted the scripted stone.
We remembered together our visions of the little lion girl, weak in body but fierce in joy.
In our hearts we had seen her whole, dancing, twirling in her grandparent's living room--neurons and muscles connected, body beautified.
My sister and I had a faith that wasn't conjured but had spun itself almost unbidden.
Of course this beautiful child would live and thrive.
I looked out across the field, and stared at the yellow school bus, the empty playground with the wet slides and swings. I could feel--almost see--the little hole in the scene where she should be,
learning to read,
smiling that million-dollar smile.
Instead that Arie-shaped hole was a little chasm at my feet, the grass already green and marked with a pink-toned stone.
My sister and I slowly walked back toward the lights of the church and Holly said "I want to love deeply-to take every moment to get to know my family and friends so that there is an emptiness when they are gone."
The moment after she spoke those words a shower plunged down from the sky, the biggest drops of rain I've ever seen, and we ran for cover.
The Real is in the rain, in the solid earth that can be dug up, and in the touch of two hands joined for a moment.
The Real is also in the vision of a little girl named Ariel, learning to dance with Jesus, in a place somewhere that is even more solid than here.