tears. grief. sadness. death coming way too early.

gratitude and hope. great rejoicing over a life lived in and for Jesus. a life filled with great joy. a life lived without reserve for others. a life which will bear eternal fruit across the world for generations to come.

a life leaving behind a legacy of service among the poor and marginalized, especially the orphans, of this world.

and those left behind?

strong. courageous. grateful for the years they had him and were loved by him. grateful for the life he lived and the Savior he served.

and yet . . . broken hearted. filled with immense – can’t breathe – don’t know how to go on – crying out to God for help – sorrow.

tired. weary from waves of grief flowing without relief.

learning an entirely different meaning of living one moment, one breath, one step, one day at a time.

I went to the visitation last night, stood in a long line. Watched his family greeting people. Hugging, sharing grief with others. Laughing. Remembering. Clinging to the Lord. Accepting kind words. Hopefully gaining strength from compassion and love so freely poured out by friends. Standing firm in their faith and hope found in the Lord.

Simultaneously grateful for life, and hurting beyond words. My words were few. My hugs and love gratefully accepted.

My heart cannot fully understand, yet my heart aches for them, with them. How much more God’s heart must ache with them.

Dear God, Holy-Almighty-Creator, Savior-Rock-Shepherd, please hold these dear people close to your heart. Comfort their souls. Provide for their deepest needs and cover them with your love.

Cause your mercies, O God, to flow over his family. Be their help and uphold them in the coming days . . . and nights. (Ps 63:7-8)