I always believe words fail, specially in times of grief. I don’t think we can articulate the feelings and emotions that arise during great losses, and great joys. Words are to often soon forgotten and never really pondered. But when words are all you have, you have to make do.
We lost a precious soul out of our lives. We are still trying to figure out how to grieve. What was a staple, a sure thing, is gone leaving nothing to hold onto in its absences. For a brief time, a few short years, 5 to be exact, this woman came into our lives thru our best friend and “godfather” figure to our boys. She was the anchor that could hold up during the storm tossed years of my friends life. She was the sail that the spirit could blow into and push the ship in the right direction. She was the tie that bound everything together, causing us on different continents to be equally yoked together.
Her Passing has now left a big hole with lots of questions, fears, and doubts. Not that we have given up, but that for a time we are under some great dark storm wondering when the clouds will break and we will see the sun. Things have changed…
What I have seen, what I have heard, and what I have been apart of is something so great, so pure, and so beyond most understanding, I now try to write about. I am trying to pen that which is hard for me to understand. I am trying to give meaning to what I have experienced, or bring out the life and beauty that I got to see.
Her husband, a childhood friend, a missionary, a teacher, an actor, who seem to be on some epic journey all the time, now was apart of the greatest friendship he has ever known. He has now taught us all a lesson I hope we never have to play out. He showed us that even in this journey of a life time, things don’t work out like you plan them, as if you are on a stage directing.
We watched as he cared for his bride like Christ did for the church. We all watched as he loved unconditionally thru sickness and in health. We stood in awe, as we marveled in how they fought the good fight of faith together thru all her trials, tests, and disappointments. We were able to rejoice in the small accomplishments, relish in the brief periods of health.
They took not only my wife and I, but also our kids, our youth, and those close to us on the journey with them. They included all who wanted to be apart. Never giving much detail, but always enough to keep the game afoot. See, they were on this journey, this adventure of a life time, together and were gathering an audience to watch it unfold. They spoke to those around them the word of life. They spoke to the hearts and souls of all who would listen, wither encouragement or rebuke……
Not having kids of their own, I believe they felt the life from ours and yearned to pass on the wisdom and knowledge they had gathered. And once they were in your life, they usually stayed there. Specially our house.. it seemed to be an oasis for them when they came to the states. Almost like a tourist attraction, or some great monument. They would have to come over to see everyone. Games would always be included in this session. Specially with our boys.
Jason seemed to always take the boys somewhere special, maybe not physically, but mentally, and I believe hopefully spiritually as well. He would have these outlandish adventures planned in his head, stories to go along with them, as he would come by the house snag the boys and run off on what every awaited them. (Usually getting lost, or loosing something and always coming back with Poison Ivy!)
But now, the story has changed. The plot has taken on a different twist. One we all knew was possible, but never believing it would happen. My friend loses the love of his life, to the fight of her life with cancer. We instantly feel the sting and tearing of our souls. The crushing weight of sadness clothes us like a robe, wrapped around our bodies, tied around our waist and the hood pulled over our throbbing heads. The looming clouds we once saw from a distance are now over head, and for this time we embrace the dark night of the soul.
The words we know are true, “this too shall pass,” but right now not willing for them to, nor asking for it. Right now we will dwell in the house of mourning, for it is better than the house of Joy. And we will consider it more blessed to weep.. For there is a time for everything under the sun, and right now we are where we are..
I watched a husband love his wife, exactly like Christ loved us. I watched as he sacrificed time, effort, comfort, but not joy, to make her life better. I watched as he kept his vows of marriage to the letter! “Thru sickness and in health, till death do we part.” He stood by her bed, nurtured and cared for her every need. They would watch their tv shows, continue to read their book together, as if nothing was changing. As a husband, I feel this deeply, as a friend I admire and honor such sacrifice. (Though it’s not a sacrifice at all to be with the one you love.)
My friend has shown me so much of our Heavenly Father’s love. He has demonstrated to us what it is to lay down your life for your friends. He has modeled honor, love, endurance, and a character that most people can only read about.
Romans 5 says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope! And Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His Love into our hearts..”
This I know is true, as I have seen and bare witness to these thru this dark time. I know hope does not disappoint.. I know that her suffering has produced so much character and perseverance, and when you have these qualities you will never stop bearing fruit.
But for now, it is “Blessed are those that mourn, They shall be comforted.” Now is the time we understand, “Better to dwell in the house of Mourning than in the house of feasting.” For there is a time for everything under the sun, and now it is the time of Mourning. A Time of reflecting on the memories we have so taken for granted, the Times we have ventured into journeys that have swept us up from our lives here in Decatur and has taken us across the oceans many times.
Her life was infectious and contagious. It was easy to get caught up in the journey they were on. Sometimes we would go kicking and screaming, but always it would end in great joy. She taught us to see the world. Her husband showed us how to love thru the toughest of conditions.. And these are never to be taken lightly.
We are molded and changed by the places we go and the people we meet. And when people like her speak into your life deeply, you are changed. We are changed. Forever and Always. We now will hope and hope doesn’t disappoint. We will hope for the day when we will all be free from this bondage of flesh and bone, to love freely. To celebrate once again with each other in the Great Eternity where death will be swallowed up in Life. And The Sting of Death will no more pierce our hearts..
We have this hope!