In the book of John, there is much talk about signs as opposed to the word miracle. The siginificance of this is that it points to something beyond the scope of the immediate miracle. Personally, I am a big fan of “signs.”
The above picture is of a particular cactus that blooms in my yard about once a year. As the anniversary of my mom’s death approaches, I recall that this particular flower bloomed during the week I was making her funeral arrangements.
I’ll never forget seeing that flower – that sign. My best friend had just left my house. It was 10:00 pm. We had been putting together photographs for the memorial and picking the songs that she’d sing. I had gone through my mom’s belongings that morning. And I was exhausted but filled up. I remember turning on my porch light and stepping out onto my back patio. And there, awash in moonlight was this cactus in full splendor. A yellow flower – my mom’s favorite color. As my eyes roved from the catus to the moon, I saw that the telephone pole near the fence looked amazingly like a cross. And in that moment, I felt both my mom and Jesus. And that everything was going to be all right.
Anniversaries of deaths are weird. Anniversaries of suicides ever more strange. I’ve been dreaming intensely the last few days as the countdown begins to all the markers surrounding my mom’s death. Her release from jail, the day I received her suicide note, the day the police called me, the day I identified the body. I see scenes from my life like a montage in a film and can’t prevent this in my slumber.
But they too are signs. Signs from God. That everything is all right.
And that there is beauty.