Over the weekend our friend Kathleen died. She fought a magnificent battle and now she is at rest. It is always hard to loose someone but even harder when they are young. Kathy was 56 years old. She had done a lot in those 56 years. She had a wonderful singing voice and sang opera in a variety of venues. The "always theatrical" Kathleen was known for her interpretation of the roles she played. Over the past too many years her health had prevented her from singing but she played the piano and organ with a masterful hand. She was our organist here at St. Stephen's. While I was away on sabbatical and worshipping in other places I realized that Kathy routinely transposed all the hymns down to a singable level. She did this so our little congregation could sing, and sing they do! She will be missed by those of us whose voices have ceased the ability to reach some notes! But Kathy will be missed in so many other ways including her wry sense of humor. She finished the 4 year Education for Ministry program last year and her often humorous and ruthlessly honest perspective was important to the class. Rest in peace dear Kathy and go well into your new life of ministry with Jesus at your side.
Spring reminds us every year of the way God is continually renewing us and all creation. If there is any doubt about eternal life it should be silenced by spring. Every year we go from stark, crisply edged death to trees warmly fuzzy with budding new life. Stuff comes up green from cold earth and blooms in a riot of colors. It is an annual rebirth which reminds us that we too will be reborn after death. I am particularly thankful for this reminder this year. It has been a time of unrelenting distress for our parish family. Illnesses and death are too close and we are all struggling with our own vulnerable nature. I can't help but believe that as the sun draws near to us in our journey around it this year, we will be restored by its warmth. So, as Julian of Norwich would say, "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well."