“It’s been a year now since I last saw this small patch of earth”

It’s been a year now since I last saw this small patch of earth. Then it was piles of dirt and a hole. Now I can scarcely tell. Then it was surrounded by teared humanity. Now just mother and father, sister and brothers. The gardeners are gone, the neighborhood children are gone, only the wind in the oaks abide. …

I walk around the patch where he was buried, not over it nor onto it. Why do I do that? Walking on it seems like desecration. I begin to understand why humanity has regarded its burial grounds as sacred sites. Under each of these plots have been laid to rest what remained of one of God’s images on earth, one of his icons. Those icon-remains hallow this place.

I wonder how it will all go when God raises him and the rest of us from the dead? Giving us new bodies seems no great problem. But how is he going to fit us all together into his city? … And what about the different characters and temperaments that all these people bring? Eric was loyal and gentle and loving, if sometimes a bit self-centered. Some people are nasty, ill-tempered, unpleasant to be around. How will God handle that? Seems to me there’ll have to be a lot of purging first.

And so many, so innumerably many. I see them stretching way back, their faces eventually becoming just a brownish haze from here. Everybody is known by somebody in that crowd, but the memories usually trail off somewhere so that up front here we know only a very few. God alone has them all in mind.

I don’t see how he’s going to bring it off. But I suppose if he can create he can re-create.

I wonder if it’s all true? I wonder if he’s really going to do it?

Will I hear Eric say someday, really now I mean: “Hey Dad, I’m back”?

“But remember, I made all this, and raised my Son from the dead, so. …”

OK. So goodbye Eric, goodbye, goodbye, until we see.

Nicholas Wolterstorff

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4 Responses to “It’s been a year now since I last saw this small patch of earth”

  1. Rhonda says:

    Memory eternal, Eric!

    You’re in my prayers, Fr. A 🙂 May God comfort you & your family!

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    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Thank you, Rhonda. Yesterday was a hard day. In the morning my wife and I sang an Akathist for Aaron, and then at noon the local Greek priest and his wife met us at the cemetary, and he offered the Trisagion for the Dead. The tears flowed.

      It’s hard to believe that a year has now passed. It’s hard to believe that my son is gone. I miss him grievously.

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  2. Marc says:

    So many moving and poignant questions Father. If the dimensions of the New Jerusalem given to us in the Book of Revelation are literal, and there are levels separated by say 10 miles, then the surface area available would be huge whether the Holy City is a cube or a pyramid. The surface area of the New Earth maybe more land than water adding to the possibilities. I have to believe that the healing process that takes place in the intermediate state enables us all to become truly Christ like in the age to come. What joy we will all share when we come together in the Kingdom of God.

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  3. Fr Hermogen Holste says:

    Christ keep you, Father Aidan, and all who are yours, both in this life and in that to come.

    I have found comfort in the words of the Lady Julian:

    ‘Jesus, who in this Vision informed me of all that is needful to me, answered by this word and said: It behoved that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
    In this naked word sin, our Lord brought to my mind, generally, all that is not good, and the shameful despite and the utter noughting that He bare for us in this life, and His dying; and all the pains and passions of all His creatures, ghostly and bodily; (for we be all partly noughted, and we shall be noughted following our Master, Jesus, till we be full purged, that is to say, till we be fully noughted of our deadly flesh and of all our inward affections which are not very good;) and the beholding of this, with all pains that ever were or ever shall be,—and with all these I understand the Passion of Christ for most pain, and overpassing. All this was shewed in a touch and quickly passed over into comfort: for our good Lord would not that the soul were affeared of this terrible sight.
    But I saw not sin: for I believe it hath no manner of substance nor no part of being, nor could it be known but by the pain it is cause of.
    And thus pain, it is something, as to my sight, for a time; for it purgeth, and maketh us to know ourselves and to ask mercy. For the Passion of our Lord is comfort to us against all this, and so is His blessed will.
    And for the tender love that our good Lord hath to all that shall be saved, He comforteth readily and sweetly, signifying thus: It is sooth that sin is cause of all this pain; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’

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