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Timeless Love

March 24, 2018
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As the clocks change, I think it’s about time I returned to this blog. And what better subject to return with than time itself? More specifically, Falling Out of Time by award-winning Israeli novelist David Grossman. Ironically, if that’s the word (how many of us have been told, “That’s not what ironic means” and now are afraid to use the word?), my own copy of Falling Out of Time fell in the Dead Sea. This moving elegy-allegory brings together multiple voices to speak about grief with honesty, rage, and tenderness. It has resonances with C. S. Lewis’s autobiographical A Grief Observed and Max Porter’s Grief Is The Thing With Feathers. Let me share with you what I found to be the most poignant of passages in Falling Out of Time:

 

WALKING MAN:

I seem to understand

only things

inside time. People,

for example, or thoughts, or sorrow,

joy, horses, dogs,

words, love. Things that grow

old, that renew,

that change. The way I miss you

is trapped in time as well. Grief

ages with the years, and there are days

when it is new, fresh.

So, too, the fury at all that was robbed

from you. But you are

no longer.

You are outside

of time.

How can I explain

to you, for even the reason is

captured in time. A man from far away

once told me that in his language

they say of one who dies in war,

he ‘fell’.

And that is you: fallen

out of time,

while the time

in which I abide

passes you by:

a figure on a pier,

alone,

on a night

whose blackness

has seeped wholly out.

I see you

but I do not touch.

I do not feel you

with my probes of time.

 

How can comfort be found in grief? It can’t. But the God of all comfort finds us in our grief and provides us refuge from its ravages, hope in the hurting, and love in our loss.

‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’ (Deuteronomy 33:27).

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