Salt & Pepper Grinders and a Very Broken Jar

They rest upon my counter gleaming silver, catching light
Just an ordinary object in a kitchen, so they seem
But those salt and pepper shakers display less than they really mean
Arriving in the mail one day with a brightly colored note, “Your Uncle Rodney wanted you to have these”, my aunt’s hand once wrote.
On a visit to their home in Florida on their counter there did rest, a pair of salt and pepper grinders my uncle knew worked best.
I picked one up, enamored by the ease with which they ground, with a push of a button white and black snowed down.
I’m certain this is nothing to most people roaming around, but to a one-armed girl, it was a simple pleasure found.

Weeks later in my home, a knock at my door yielded a carefully taped up package sitting on the concrete floor.
Confused, I opened it up and inside there was
a gift for me from my Uncle sent over just because.
Such a simple kindness. Such a simple grace.
Shining silver grinders putting big love on display.

This evening, my Uncle Rodney’s mission here on earth came to an end. He is with Jesus now. While our hearts are torn, ragged, fragments of themselves in this moment, we rejoice that he no longer suffers or strives or grieves, but simply rests.
There will be a day in the future when laughter breaks the silence and all of this present grief will mingle in with joy as it tends to do, but for now, we will just be broken. Just like Jesus in the bible who, even though he knew his friend would live again, wept when Lazarus’ body could no longer serve him on earth. We will weep and grieve, because just like Jesus, we know Rodney has come to life for the first time; but it is such a loss for us. We will just be broken right now, because our clay-made-bodies are made to break. We are made to be broken, because a broken jar cannot conceal a lit candle inside. The bigger the cracks, the more light pours out, and what should be a dark and hidden interior is shining so brightly, it illuminates not just the should-be-darkness inside, but the darkness surrounding it. Light floods out darkness. Suffering, grief, the kind of sadness you cannot quite qualify, reveals a beauty not often seen. There in the depths, light is brighter, hope more precious, joy more sought. So we will just be broken. And Jesus will be broken alongside us. And someday, some day sooner than any of us realize, we will all look at the large crack this “momentary affliction” has left on our persons and see “the eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” for which we are being prepared; and we will be together with Uncle Rodney, in the midst of the currently “unseen” to us. And Jesus will be rejoicing with us, because we will no longer broken.

 

“ For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:5-18