4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
I leave early this morning, for Windsor, to simply "be with" Susan and her family at the funeral of her father. With me I will carry the love of her co-workers and friends who couldn't make the long journey, but who wish they could. I know from experience, how much each token of caring means, whether prayer (I literally felt the prayers of others carry me when my father died), or a card, or the physical presence of the people who come to show their respect and love.
Susan is giving the eulogy at the funeral, and I look forward to hearing the thoughts that she will share.
When my father died I expected to speak on behalf of the family; I'm the oldest child and usually pretty comfortable speaking publicly. But when the local vicar came to visit and help plan the service, and began to ask questions about dad's qualities, I suddenly felt very fragile and helpless and was grateful to lean into his strength. He seemed to assume that he would take care of the whole service and I was happy to let him.
Sitting with a total stranger at such a raw time, trying to make sure we conveyed everything that was important to say, was draining and exhausting. How do you sum up a person's life in a few short words? And yet it seemed so important to do so. He wasn't just anybody, he was my dad. After the vicar left, I felt as though I had failed miserably in describing him.
But in my Daily Light, on the page for January 29th, is one of my little notes. It says:
"The day after we met with the vicar to talk about who Dad was and I felt we had failed to describe him. 2003"
The first verse of the day was this:
Genesis 16: 13
You are the God who sees me
As if that wasn't enough, the next verses were from Psalm 139:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
At the end came this verse:
But Jesus . . . knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.—
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
God assured me through his Word, that it didn't matter whether I had described Dad well enough, or even how the vicar translated what I had said, because God knew who he was. What sweet comfort. What a sign of love.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.