Wednesday, November 17, 2021


Her's was the only face I recognized when I sat down at the pew.
She sat to the side of the podium.
Smiling, even some laughter.
Often, tears in her eyes but with awareness of what must take place.
Of, who could share, maybe even, who should share...their heart; their story.
About her beloved husband.
Understanding that someone needed to guide.
And even in her own grief, they would celebrate and remember his life with joy.

She would be certain of that.

I've been to many, many gatherings like this but at the same time, not like this.
Peace and authenticity ruled the room like it was a covenantal agreement.
I didn't wish for people to think that I was texting on my phone during the service but the words of the day were so rich, I couldn't help but write a handful of them down.  
Here they are.

"I'm 16 years sober...I know that in those years before sobriety, I hurt my kids."
He tugged at his beard a bit, gathered his thoughts and then remarked on how the man in the casket had walked with him and prayed with him through many moments of challenge.

Several shared about dreams.  Dreams that led to the front door of the church or the one who had passed and his loving wife...Dreams that led them to the grace of God.

A young man said, "I know that I'm going to need to spend more time weeping, because it's right, because it's good...Remember, Jesus wept, even though he knew he was going to bring Lazarus back."

Another said, while talking about the deceased's love of family, food and fireworks, "It just seemed like life was complete when we were all together."

Another, visibly shaken in his spirit while he spoke, but committed to being honest, transparent in his appreciation said, "Life is hard without a father, so if you find one, a good hold onto him."

I believe it was the same voice that said, "I was like an abused animal when I came to them...but they took me in."

Another voice, of another cultural heritage shared the common phrase of direction from this man's heart, "Well, let's pray about it..." 

And the final word that I heard, not because it was the last spoken, but because it was a blanket over the entire time was this, "I did not know how to receive the love of God until I met him.  He showed the love of God and how to share it with other people..."

And I thought to myself...Oh, how I wish my church family could know this also, and that this would be the benediction to every service I ever attend, and even for my own.