Thursday, December 4, 2008

Visitation Realizations

There was a death in my family recently.... my church family, that is. A young man that I didn't know very well - I know and love the women in his life: His wife, sister-in-law, mother-in-law. We all shared a meal together on Sunday after church - though he and I didn't speak. Had I know it was the last time I'd see him here on Earth, I'd have chosen differently... but I digress...

The night of visitation had come. As I parked the car, I thought back to my father's funeral, where I was reminded "Love never ends". I took a deep breath, gathered my things, and headed inside.

I'm sort of a newbie to funerals and visitations and all. I can count my experiences on, oh, two fingers. I soon learned how different visitations are when you actually know the family.

I looked around. Quite a group - a wonderful, wonderful group. Family, friends. Hugs. Tears. Laughter. It brought tears to my eyes. The palpable love of these people for one another. My heart runneth over. (And, yes, I think I may get elected the designated "church crier" :) ) Again, I digress...

Pictures of Todd scrolled through on the big screen. I got introduced to a side of him that I hadn't known. I'm fairly new in the church, and he'd been chronically ill the whole time I'd known him.

I looked around again, at the people gathered - talking to his wife, mother, extended family - talking with each other. Providing support, encouragement, love. I focused on the people I'd come to know in the past year. I smiled to myself as I remembered meeting each of them. Many I had prayed with, or studied with. Laughed with, cried with.

I shook my head as I left. The evening had nothing to do with me, but I left there with a realization of how much I love my church family - more and more every day - and that I, too, am well loved and cared for within the group.

Be well, Todd. Know that you are loved. Your wife, too, is loved, and will be well cared-for.

Reside in our hearts...

Walk with God...

4 comments:

Katie said...

Good blog - it's amazing how different the attitude is at a thing like last night's when you know that he knew the Lord and the family is confident of that. It's quite amazing. And I'd be the first to vote for you as the official church cryer!! Love you Linda - you are a huge asset to our body of Christ!

cathy said...

Linda, you are loved and you are a blessing to our church family!

Bray said...

this was so beautiful to read. it makes me feel good to know that even in a dark time in our lives, God's amazing love shined bright :-)

Linda said...

One of the songs that stays on my heart these days has a line that says:

"Are you not the closest when it's hardest to stand?"

From my experience I shout a whole-hearted AMEN!