For the last few months, we have lived in the fog and sog of a cloud here at Kijabe. Rain, and more rain. Deep sucking mud. Grey skies. Dim. Cold. Pounding on the roof at night, dripping into the door, washing down the hillsides. The thing about living in gloom is that after a while it seems normal to trudge through a muted background.
Much of the last couple years has been foggy for me, too. Too much parting. Too much just trying to make it through another call, another rounds, another admission, another resuscitation. Another death. This past week it was the frail baby in heart failure who no longer moved or responded. After a tearful discussion with his parents about the reality of his impending death, I disconnected him from his monitors and dressed him and wrapped him in a blanket for his mom to hold. ( I offered to snap a photo for her memories, and a kind RVA teacher printed it for her to take home the next day.)
Then one day this week, the sun returned. I looked down and saw shadow. And it occurred to me that those rainy months did not have much shadow, because shadow is created by light and matter. When all is dark and gloomy, you can't really tell the boundaries, there is either no shadow or all shadow. But when light comes, the shadow is apparent.
Even the shadow of death is a shadow because of the bright reality of life.
So here at Kijabe, where death is too-often present, I am wrestling with that shadow and looking beyond it. The valley of the shadow of death is a part of the journey, but it is only in shadow because there is a ridge, a peak, of glory that we are ascending towards. Glory that is dawning over gloom, until all the shadow is swallowed up in victory.