Walt’s Orchids

Alice Coltrane / From the Album Translinear Light (2004)


Yesterday, we had the funeral for my father-in-law Walter M. Sharp. I was honored to write the obituary for this incredible man. One of the many passions in Walt’s life was growing Orchids and there were a number of orchids at the visitation.

God often works in subtle (invisible?) ways. Sometimes, it’s just a moment of light on something small at an appropriate time. Only those who turn down the blinding light of their own ego are able to see these small signs of God’s light in these dark times. He/she shines with little more than a (particular watt light) in these times.

Again, I’m reminded of one of a favorite quote of mine from Wilfred Bion. “Instead of trying to bring a brilliant, intelligent, knowledgeable light to bear on obscure problems,” he said, “I suggest we bring to bear a diminution of light – a penetrating beam of darkness: a reciprocal of the searchlight. Thus a very faint light would become visible in maximum conditions of darkness.” 

After a few days of cold weather and cloudy skies in Columbus, the sun finally came out the day after Walt’s funeral. As Steph and I came into the kitchen, we saw a beam of sunlight falling on the Orchid-like Amaryllis plants we have in honor of Walt who had a passion for Orchids. The sunlight was just there for a few moments but I grabbed my camera and got photos of the orchids. 

Of course it was a subtle but clear sign from God that Walt is OK and that his light still shines for all of those he touched and all who loved him.

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