This is how I spent my Sunday afternoon: on my living room couch, snuggled under an afghan crocheted for me three decades ago by my Aunt Kushie, with a purring, sleeping cat named Charlotte draped over my feet.
Today marked my second Sunday back at church since Dad’s funeral, and thankfully, there were fewer tears this morning than there were last week. I know that tears are cleansing, that it’s healthy to let them flow, that there will be many more during this season of grieving. But I have to tell you, it was a relief to be able to worship with (relatively) dry eyes this morning. I was grateful to be able to sing without choking up at the end of every stanza.
I have been back to work for close to two weeks now, gearing up for one of our busiest seasons as we prepare for Jubilee 2014. I am learning what is involved in being the executrix (for the uninitiated, that’s female for “executor”) of a last will and testament. I am grateful for my brothers, for the mutual support and the lack of drama as we negotiate unfamiliar territory together.
If nothing else, my relaxing Sabbath day afternoon on the couch with Charlotte is evidence to me of the power of prayer.
Technically, I am an orphan at age 47. But I don’t feel like I am, and it’s not just because of my age. I deeply feel the love and support of my immediate and extended family, of amazing co-workers, and of an authentic and loving church congregation. And I feel comforted by friends and acquaintances and former colleagues of my dad—those I’ve known all my life and those I’ve still not met.
I know that all of this is a reflection of the love of my Fathers—both of them, my earthly one and my heavenly one.
I know more tears will come during this season of grief. And I know that more such seasons await me down the road. I also know that I will be granted peaceful afternoons like the one I experienced today. I know that I can rest in the love and grace and provision of the One who created, sustains, and redeems all things—and that death and grief will not have the final word.
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.” —Revelation 21:3-4