Pathetic Fallacy

I remember very little from my high school English classes. I could probably come up with an incomplete list of our summer reading assignments, and write a paragraph summarizing Catch-22, Crime and Punishment, or The Awakening, but that would only betray how much I’ve forgotten. But stored deep in the recesses of my mind is a memory of one small discussion of a minor literary device: pathetic fallacy. Though this type of personification can be applied in a variety of ways, my fickle memory only held on to one – the use of weather to display or parallel a character’s internal or emotional state.

The day is dreary, filled with a thick fog that won’t seem to lift. Where sunlight manages to break through, all it can muster the strength to do is illuminate the low, dark clouds crawling across the sky. Yet it all seems right.

Yesterday, a dear man won his battle with Alzheimer’s, left his broken body behind, and is now rejoicing, whole again, at his Savior’s side. But his gain is our loss. His death left a family behind to wrestle with far more questions than we have answers. That they should wake up today and discover a world still moving when theirs has crashed to a halt only adds to the indignity and insult of death in a fallen world.

But when the sky is dark and the clouds are thick, it is easier to believe that all is not as it should be; that the world is mourning with you. And indeed, it is easier for me to remember their pain; to remember that I am now bound up in their story by the strength of Christ’s blood that has made them my family. And so I mourn with those who mourn, grateful that we serve a God who was not content to leave us in our pain, but who dwelt among us and understands the injustice of the sun’s warmth on a tear-stained cheek.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Rev 21:1-5a

Amen and amen. Come Lord Jesus.


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