Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Strength in Words

My eyes were red and swollen from crying.  I hadn't sobbed during the funeral service; I had only released a steady stream of compassionate tears.  Uncle Bill had lived a good life, a long one.  He had left behind a legacy of children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.  He had escaped a future of battling brain cancer.  Death is not often a good thing, but in this case, there was not much to darken the shadow.

Still, he was gone, and he left behind a hole.  I cried silently for that hole.

Now at the interment, we stood in a long line, waiting to pay our respects to the family with a red rose in our hand for the casket.  The family assembled in a row, all of them people whom I knew by name and had spent time with.  I squinted in the sun to hide the redness in my eyes.

People chatted happily but hushed, still respecting the reverence of the moment but embracing in the joy of Bill's entrance into heaven.

I reached the front of the line and gave his widow a polite hug.

Then she looked into my eyes.  I had thought the redness was gone by now, but it must've been visible because she leaned toward me and said so steadily, "It'll be okay.  Everything will be alright."

She released me and smiled, knowingly.  The strength in her words is something I will never forget.

It is in these small moments in which we see the tenacity of the human will and the loving peace of God our Father.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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