Day 54: Tender Mercies

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All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players…

Shakespeare is coming to mind in this somewhat reflective Sunday.

I’m dressing the wounds of overindulgence today while simultaneously thanking God for the many blessings He continues to bestow upon me. It is difficult to feel unlucky when one is loved well and etched in the memory banks of so many. Let me elaborate how I came to this realization.

I was thinking about this earlier this morning – if I were to go away, would I be missed? It is a common psychological principle that imagining one’s own demise can be a healthy exercise in self-awareness, allowing us to assess our personal relationships and measure the value of these. Still, it is a little morbid to go down this road.

But I did, and I found that I had a long mental list of people upon whom I feel I’ve made a mark, possibly deriving the full benefit of the exercise because I convinced myself (perception becoming reality) that I would leave a void in many. It brought a smile to my face as I focused on tragedy because that is how my twisted mind rolls and it is how I came to the realization that God’s tender mercies are so present in the vicinity of my day to day.

There is an element of gratitude in the numerous moments that band together to define the hours of our lives. Running an errand, arguing over something stupid, watching a television program while writing a blog post are rote, possibly insignificant vignettes in the overall picture of our existence. Yet these moments are needed, they define our impact and drop the breadcrumbs that lead us back to this history we’ve built – a narrative defining me intertwined into the lives of those who will remember me when I’m gone. Along the way, in a reciprocal move that defines the essence of our human condition, I gather the breadcrumbs left for me that lead me to the maps that define my most intimate of relationships – my lover, my framily and my relatives. I will keep their history in my memory banks and remember them when they are gone.

Death is a fickle character in this no-intermission-one-act play where each of us is the protagonist of the story. He travels with us through every road, never revealing himself until the final moment when he will take our spotlight and shine it upon himself to watch us make our exit from the stage. And yet we continue the role, knowing that the end, whether near or far, is coming.

When it does, we will hope that our lives have been rich in all that defined our happiness, for these will be the breadcrumbs we will follow toward our final path, these will be the memories engraved in those we leave behind and these will be the souls from which our own soul will draw strength to take its final bow.

As we take these final bows, those whose lives have been impacted by our absence will join the stage for the one final symbolic moment of recollection. These are the witnesses of our story, these are the individuals whose testament to our existence will define how we are to be remembered henceforth.

These are God’s tender mercies in action.

For all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players…

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