Morning is here and soon I will gather with my family to observe the burial of Dad. Then this afternoon we will commute to their church for the memorial service.
My waking was greeted with relief that the long night is over for now. It will be a day of being present for Mom and the rest of the family, doing what I can to comfort and simply listen. It will be a day of well-deserved celebration for a life which finished well, a life lived in service to country, to the community, to family, and especially to Mom. I expect to learn things that I did not know about him. There will be tears and a fair share of laughter. There will be hugs and moments of silence. Mostly I will listen. Mostly I will attend to the family, trying to make sure their needs are being met, so far as that is possible. Mostly I will give thanks that he is now in the presence of the Lord, without pain and with a heart full of inexpressible joy, living a life of whole purpose and experiencing the rewards prepared for him by Jesus Christ.
Night will come again soon. Continual meditation and prayer is my solace and source of strength. My faith rests on a foundation fundamentally secure and independent from the shifting winds which attempt to find their way into my heart. So I do not despair even in sadness. I do not pull away even when the world says to give up. No. This is a time for rejoicing and a time for renewal.