I’ve spent some time the last few evenings reading entries from a family member’s blog, an outlet for grief and healing with her teenage daughters’ injuries and death. Reading Sharon’s words of both pain and gratitude makes me feel overwhelmed and grounded at the same time. She writes honestly yet with acceptance. Her words haunt me, her acceptance of Bethany’s brokenness and Hannah’s death unnerving yet something to strive for. It scares me to think of the many future “opportunities” to accept God’s best in the lives of my own children.
The following is a section posted on Sharon’s blog:
“I think (this story) is very fitting for my girl's life. Now, a year later, I can see how much more God is able to use Hannah & Bethany's brokenness than their wholeness for what really counts.”
The Parable of Bamboo
Once upon a time in the heart of a certain kingdom, lay a beautiful garden. Of all the dwellers of the garden, the most beautiful and beloved to the master of the garden was a splendid and noble Bamboo. Year after year, Bamboo grew yet more beautiful and gracious. He was conscious of his master's love, yet he was modest and in all things gentle. Often when Wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would dance and sway merrily, tossing and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon. He delighted his master's heart.
One day the master spoke: "Bamboo, I would use you."
Bamboo flung his head to the sky in utter delight. The day in which he would find his completion and destiny had come! His voice came low: "Master, I am ready, use me as you want."
"Bamboo," the master's voice was grave, "I would be obliged to take you and cut you down."
A trembling of great horror shook Bamboo. "Cut..me..down? Me whom you, master, have made the most beautiful in all your garden? Cut me down? Ah, not that, not that. Use me for your joy, oh master, but don't cut me down."
"Beloved Bamboo," the master's voice grew graver still. "If I do not cut you down, I cannot use you."
Bamboo slowly bent his proud and glorious head. Then came a whisper. "Master, if you cannot use me unless you cut me down, then do your will and cut."
"Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I would cut your leaves and branches from you also."
"Master, master, spare me. Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust, but would you take from me my leaves and branches also?"
"Bamboo alas! If I do not cut them away, I cannot use you."
Bamboo shivered in terrible expectancy, whispering low. "Master, cut away."
"Bamboo, Bamboo. I would divide you in two and cut out your heart, for if I do not cut so, I cannot use you."
"Master, master, then cut and divide."
So the master of the garden took Bamboo and cut him down and hacked off his branches and stripped his leaves and divided him in two and cut out his heart, and lifting him gently, carried him to where there was a spring of fresh, sparkling water in the midst of the master's dry fields. Then putting down one end of broken Bamboo into the spring and the other end into the water channel in the field, the master laid down gently his beloved Bamboo. The clear sparkling water raced joyously down the channel of Bamboo's torn body into the waiting fields. Then the rice was planted and the days went by. The shoots grew. The harvest came. In that day was Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, yet more glorious in his brokenness and humility. For in his beauty he was life abundant. But in his brokenness he became a channel of abundant life to his master's world.