This is the dissonance of life. Surrounded by the odor of death, cut with the grief of loss, yet in the midst of that preparing for the ultimate party, the feast on the mountain, the wines on the lees and choice pieces, the no-tears end to the whole story.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Dissonance is the darker side of paradox. Saturday was a day of dissonance. Most of the day was one of preparation and anticipation, for Julia's birthday. She has reminded us a hundred times this week of the countdown to the day, which for her is made special by friends, team, a party, costumes, games, the experience of the day. And for us that means posters, baking, designing, organizing for Sunday afternoon fun. But in the midst of that, we got news that our friend Chris Kenobwa had lost another child. This is the second who has died this year, and he is the same man who broke his ankle and hurt his back falling out of a tree he was cutting down. Ammon was six, and though he suffered from sickle cell disease he grew well and seemed to have less problems than most. But he became suddenly ill Friday night and died in the early darkness of Saturday morning. Scott, Pat, and I walked over to our neighbors, and sat. It was eerily quiet, an exhausted grief, with the women crowded into a closet-sized room in the mud hut, Ammon's face visible in the open crudely cobbled coffin. I don't know if it was his body or the press of live un-health in the room, but there was a putrid smell in the mid-day sun. As our pastor Kisembo bravely proclaimed Jesus' love for children, Ammon's mother screamed out her wail and he father Chris sat deflated outside the house. Then we returned to the skipping joy of our kids in their eager pre-party projects.