Writing is soothing for me. Choosing words and fitting them together like puzzle pieces to form a thought picture is enjoyable and at times rather cathartic. Some can use brushes to move paints across a surface and create an image that exists only in their mind; for me a pen applied to the page or in this case, fingers to the keyboard serve a similar purpose and allow me to share my thoughts. It’s been a long week, a hard week. After these days of tears and laughter, greetings and good-byes, sweet notes, kind words, photos from far away family and long comforting hugs, I find myself turning to words again to soothe and share. My hope is with the sharing that it will be a comfort for someone else as well.
We have returned home and started to unpack the bags. Part of me is still smiling after hearing for the umpteenth hundredth time that someone hasn’t seen me since I was “so” high. Apparently a lot of people knew me when I was somewhere between knee and waste height. Part of me is so tired and heavy hearted that I feel like if I were touched just a little too hard I would dissolve into the floor. I sit here tonight and try to slow down my brain, close my tired eyes, and trust that my fingers will know the location of the keys.
A song has been sitting in me, I feel like it’s melded into the lump of tears and love that feels stuck behind my rib cage. The song is “I Am Loved,” sung by the Gaither Vocal Band. It is a song with a chorus that seems simplistic on first hearing, but is really quite profound when givens some thought.
“I am loved, I am loved
I can risk loving you
For the One who knows me best
Loves me most
I am loved, you are loved
Won’t you please take my hand
We are free to love each other
We are loved”
Very gentle and deceptively simple words seem to me truly an anthem of willingness to take on complexity of other people with tender strength. I have seen the effects of love being present in homes, hospitals, and at the funeral home. I have seen it in events surrounding the paperwork and all of the things to do, at the cemetery, in the homes. Sustaining love, like a wholesome food or needed sleep, love provides its own sustenance. I watched it in the receiving line as there were more hugs than I could count. These people know each other, their strengths and weaknesses. And yet, here they are in the same room to offer wide open arms and support to one another and us.
So, what do I do with that? How does that impact my world? It seems that at these times we pause and reflect on how very precious our time is with each other, to care for and share with each other. I also know that as much as I focus on this as a priority, it will become much harder to keep that in the forefront as life returns to the normal patterns. It is a choice to love others as we are loved by Christ; loved as Jesus loves us, loved with great sacrifice and great hope. I hope the words to that song stay with me for a long time, right there, folded into that knot of grief as a sustaining love to appreciate and share.