The last days have been a whirlwind of change as we said good-bye for now to my grandfather and he went home to be with Jesus. I think we have all had moments when it seems as if a fog descends in our minds and it makes thought difficult, sleep difficult, and well - everything a little more difficult. Buzzing about in my brain, memories are like hummingbirds landing on one spot, just to fly to another and stubbornly refuse to stay in one spot but a moment. The to-do list is most definitely written and being added to, as it will otherwise soon be forgotten. The support of family and friend has been tremendous and means so much. My heart is so full that I wanted to capture a few of these things before they become lost in the moving fog of a tumultuous time and little sleep.
Lamentations 3 starts with “I am the man who has seen affliction.” The list is long and indeed full of terrible afflictions. He is besieged and turned away, made a prisoner with heavy chains, made desolate, brought low from others’ taunts, and left without endurance. Right at that heavy moment, when I can practically feel the writer being crushed into the ground with all of these immense difficulties, he says something tremendous.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
Hope, mercy, faithfulness, my portion and again hope; these words are rich in meaning, strong and full of goodness. They resonate in my heart. Mercies have come abundantly in the form of helping hands bringing meals. The love has taken the shape of friends going out of their way to lend compassion. Supportive hands and backs have been reaching out to shoulder part of the burden. The faithfulness is in buoying words asking about what is going on and truly wanting to know the answer. Encouragement has come from many sources, both looked for and as surprises. The new mercies are a delight to keep looking for and find in a clear night sky with stars shining, doggy kisses, snuggles with little boys, warm quilts, fresh fruit and robins on nests. My to-do list seems to be ever growing, but not nearly at the rate of the portion of blessings. The sun brought beautiful colors to the sky and then a much needed rain cooled and freshened the air. Nurses with sensibility were kind in their honesty. Late night and very early morning laughter with a friend over a pile of papers that needed sorted through, travelers who unexpectedly surprised us here – just to tell us, “That is what family does.” I have seen the irises, the roses, and the peonies blooming; though they may not be the traditional lilies of the field, they have still been a source of steadfastness in their splendid arraignment. My heart is sad, but my soul is rejoicing. I indeed have hope in the great faithfulness of the Lord. I will continue to call these things to mind.