So this weekend we are headed out east for yet another funeral. My husband’s side of the family has had many of them the past years. Some would be seen as tragic, some would be seen as blessed relief from extreme suffering.
They are all losses. Grandma and grandpa are no more. My husband and I are the eldest generations in both our families.
But, Lord, there has been such joy and laughter in these spaces between life and death.
We have shared one another’s trials and triumphs, weddings and babies, holidays and funerals, illnesses and cures.
Family life, lived well, is a wild ride of sadness and joy, of grief and rejoicing.
One string can be traced through it all for this family – Jesus. The red string of His blood sacrifice for our redemption has gathered and sustained us.
This is a family prone to prayer. They pray at meals and they pray when we part. Grandpa used to gather us all together with that red string to pray with us each time we parted. Didn’t matter if there were 4 or 5 of us or 17 and 18 of us. We all felt that string tug at us to gather us closer and there was always enough string to encircle all of us.
This is a family prone to singing. While other families might hum a current tune, this bunch hums hymns. It’s like they are always thinking about that scarlet string that we share and that keeps us together.
Jesus. We are His and He is ours. This weekend we will celebrate the home going of another of His own.
And we will remain encircled in His love all through that space between life and death.
Thank you, Lord.