Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Comfort

Matthew 5:4 (New American Standard Bible)
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:

John 2:24-25:

But Jesus . . . knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.—

And finally:

John 21:17:

“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.

5 comments:

Brenda said...

Belinda, At a time like this you know who your friends are...but you are more like family than friend. I look forward to seeing you today, twin, and getting a big hug of comfort from you. You are an ambassador today....representing all those who mean so much to Susan. You have no idea how much this means to us that you are coming. I'm up early praying for your safety on the road. May your journey be blessed.

Belinda said...

Thank you so much Brenda! I am just leaving right this...next five minutes. :) I am so thankful that God cleared the way for me to be able to come. I love you all very much and can't wait to see my twin. This is one of those "standing with" times.

Marilyn said...

These words and verses were a boost to me this morning and I already shared them with someone else. Thanks.

Belinda said...

Oh Marilyn, I'm so glad that they were a blessing. Praise God.

Susan said...

These words were a blessing to me too, but the actions were even moreso. Thank you SO much for coming with your Mum-anointing today. You are an amazing friend. It was so fitting that you were there, too, because God used you SO profoundly in his plan to heal my relationship with my Dad. What victory today! What joyous victory!!!

I buried my Dad today, and I can't stop crying these tears of pure joy and gratitude!!! God is to good... (understatement).