In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble. (Wisdom 3:6-7)
A spark darting through the stubble, dancing from dried up stem to dried up stem, setting ablaze what is withering up, torching the dry field with abundance of heat and light, such is the image of the souls of the just at the time of their visitation.
And what is the time of their visitation? Perhaps it is the time of their judgment, or the time when God’s touch reached into their spirits and transformed their living.
Or perhaps it is the time when we, their loved ones, visit with their spirits, recall their lives, and delve into the memory of their time among us.
For in the dried up stubble of our grief, the memory of their lives, their gifts, their presence dance like sparks, bringing the warmth of fire and the clarity of light into our withering hearts.
Thus, their visitation to our hearts rekindles the fire of gratitude for what we had as gift, enlightens us with the courage to go on and the hope that we become the darting sparks in the dried up stubble of some other life.
And so we are invited, not annually but daily, to rest awhile with the loved one, to be reignited by the sparks, and to blaze afresh with newness of spirit. In this mutual visitation, the withering parts are burnt away, and the remaining ash is nurturance for the soil of the soul, where we are led to know first hand the resurrection of the total being of ourselves.
Sr. Elizabeth Ferguson OP