Thursday, February 10, 2011

blotched but scoured

I spent time in a house of mourning today.

It's hard. Every time, it's hard.

Another friend is a widow. Too young to be a widow, and yet, when is one old enough to be a widow? Another fatherless child. A child who had a sick dad for half his few years. A child whose sweet baby face belies his questions and experience.

I was reminded of a passage the pastor mentioned at my mom's funeral. I cannot number the times I've read this. Though I know it's true, it's still hard to understand. And that's okay. Today I've switched back and forth between these versions, comparing them. Interesting, the differences between the two essentially say the same thing.

Blotched. Scoured. Invested. Rebuked.

Let me stick to it. For the better.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-8 (New International Version)

1 A good name is better than fine perfume,

and the day of death better than the day of birth.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning

than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.

3 Frustration is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.

4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.

6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless.

7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool,

and a bribe corrupts the heart.

8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,

and patience is better than pride.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-8 (The Message)

1 A good reputation is better than a fat bank account.

Your death date tells more than your birth date.

2 You learn more at a funeral than at a feast—

After all, that's where we'll end up. We might discover

something from it.

3 Crying is better than laughing.

It blotches the face but it scours the heart.

4 Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving.

Fools waste their lives in fun and games.

5 You'll get more from the rebuke of a sage

Than from the song and dance of fools.

6 The giggles of fools are like the crackling of twigs

Under the cooking pot. And like smoke.

7 Brutality stupefies even the wise

And destroys the strongest heart.

8 Endings are better than beginnings.

Sticking to it is better than standing out.

1 comment:

Tracy P. said...

Amen, Stefanie. Amen, Solomon. Amen, Eugene. Even if we don't always like it, Amen. He has set eternity in the hearts of men. Keep your eye on the goal.

May joy return in the morning.