One meaning represents a wild, energetic, daring and frivolous feat. The other a heavy, ponderous object that is slow but reliable. One a tortoise, the other a hare. How did they both come to be attached to the same word?
Yeats, when writing about catastrophic events in Dublin, Easter 1916, put two words together that don’t match, but evoke so powerfully what he sees. He describes a ‘terrible beauty’ being born. In that he captured the loss and the sacrifice, and also the hope that was kindled. Two meanings to make one picture.
Today I have seen love poured out freely and beautifully in response to tragic, unexplainable, almost unbearable loss.
It is something we will all be sharing at All Saints in the days to come.
Rest in peace is not a trite sentiment – it is a command and a gift to those who have come into a practical love of God. May they who need to, know the steadiness of God in the chaos of their circumstances, and have the means to receive and hold it.