I have chosen a pseudonym for my friend who just died: she shall be called Jane. After, in part, Jane Manning James, but also because it rhymes with the name she had chosen for herself to be called, since she disliked the very old-fashioned one her mother had chosen for her.
It occurs to me that I've set a precedent before now of calling the dead by their own real names, under the theory that really nothing worse can happen to them at this point; but, a) my brain still can't quite process the fact that she's dead; and, b) there has been enough internet-searchable local news coverage of her death that it would definitely break any sort of anonymity I have remaining on this blog to not give her a pseudonym.
This is what I need to tell you: there had been a part of my soul which had slowly been dying of bitterness. It felt like I had been to so many funerals, and I was tired of it, and tired of being poor and having nothing even remotely resembling a decent career and not having a husband and blah blah blah. But: my soul is reviving again, and this fact is directly related to Jane's death.
I will try to explain.
It is true that my day-to-day emotional resilience is at low ebb; that, on a regular basis, I find myself crying for no particularly good reason, and that my back (which is highly responsive to my emotional state) isn't doing as well as it sometimes has. But it is also true that somehow this death, which is taking up elephant-sized space in my emotional living room, has at least temporarily sloshed out any capacity I used to have for grudge-holding or bitterness or resentment. I cry because my feelings are hurt on the kind of regular basis I haven't experienced since I was a teenager (or younger?), but when I am done crying, I have no energy left to dislike the hurter.
Is it bad for good to come of evil? But I think it cannot be. I do not plan, would never plan-- or, in other words, wish for-- evil as dark and loathsome as this. And I say most emphatically that God does not, could not do such a thing either. But I am sure as the day is long that God has planned for evil, for this particular evil especially, and I am everlastingly grateful to Him for that. Strange? To me strange. But still true.
I will try to write up the eulogy I gave, very soon.