Marilee

I’ve never seen so much family at a funeral.  There were at least a sixty people in the section reserved for family.  There were just as many or more friends there, as well.

We listened to a serenade of songs with acoustic guitar, keyboard and violin. Rich voices sang of God’s presence, His joy and His praise. We listened to four people, four lives touched, four perspectives of Marilee and the impact that she had on others.

We heard a pastor tell a grieving husband over and over to rejoice.

We watched a lengthy slide show of photo after photo of Marilee and her precious children, Marilee and friends, Marilee and her beloved husband.  Bill spent the week weaving it together like a tapestry gift for those of us attending and mourning simultaneously rejoicing.  Surely it was a difficult task.  Just as well, surely it was cathartic.

But, the most wonderful thing that I heard at Marilee’s funeral was not written in a program, planned or expected.

Reese walked to the keyboard in preparation of the final celebratory song. In his song introduction, he commented on what a wonderful husband Bill had been while Marilee went through her struggle.  He shared that other husband’s should follow Bill’s example and be challenged to love the way that Bill did.  And there, in a sanctuary full of family and friends, in a still, quiet, somber funeral, an audience-wide applause erupted. Honestly, I wanted to jump to my feet. A standing ovation also seemed appropriate.

He sat by her side. He prayed fervently. He only spoke the positive.  He trusted and believed, no matter what the outcome. He was truly faithful. He did his best. He made a decision to love, as Christ loves.
Tears streamed down my face.
…. oh, that I would be loved that way.
…. oh, that I would love that way.

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I’ve never been one to question God with “why,”
but I wonder what? how? when?
what is to come?
what will the future look like?
how will things be different?
how will the children heal?
how long will they ache?
how will Bill adjust?
what can I do to help?
how will You use this for good, Lord?
for Your glory?
when will they see your plan?
will You be there, Lord?

And of my questions, there is only one
for which I know that I know the answer:
Yes, He will be there.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

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