September 6, 2006

awesome blessings

i was just going to go to the memorial
and turn the page
because she would want
all of us to move on

but i gotta share
the awesome blessings
that the service brought to me
you are not going to believe this

first of all
i posted an hour and a half
before the service started
and i prayed
that i would be given the thirst
for the word of God
because i haven't been in the word much
i walk into the service
and there are a dozen shriner's women
(i still don't really understand
what they were doing)
they were reading scripture
one after another
almost like they were
bathing me in it
really, i'm not kidding

my eyes were already full
and the tears just brimmed over
see, walking from the car
to the door of the church
the church bell rang
i had a flash of a feeling
of being in the "old days"
and what it must have felt like
to be called to church
by the bell
and i also felt like
the bell was tolling for alma
with each toll
i knew she was with her Jesus
in my heart
something let go

so the service officially starts
after the ladies were finished
and all her grandchildren
and great-grandchildren walk up
to help light the candles
there goes the lady that cuts my hair
and the hair of my kids
she is married to alma's grandson
are you kidding me??
this unborn baby that i have talked about
many, many times with alma
is the very one
that has come closer and closer
to my head during a haircut
as she grew
a small, small world it is

we bow our heads for prayer
all this emotion
is just sitting on my chest
my lips are doing
that twitching thing
as i try to keep it under control
and amen.
the prayer is over
i lift my head and open my eyes
the most beautiful ray of sunshine
streams through the stained glass windows
the windows are really old
and mostly made of yellow glass
so the church took on
a wonderful golden glow
that stayed for most of the service

we sing
not hymns, but praise songs
the last one gets me

"i will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart
i will enter his courts with praise
i will say this is the day that the Lord has made
i will rejoice for he has made me glad"

this could have been her theme song
through all kinds of adversity
this gentle spirit was thankful to God
she was always praising him
happy to have one more day

what an inspiration

i know i'm writing a book here
but wait, it gets so much better

we recite the 23rd psalm
at this point
"my cup runneth over"
could not have been a truer statement

the pastor's scripture
came from john
chaper 14
in particular for me
verses 25-27
"peace i leave with you
my peace i give you.
i do not give to you as the world gives.
do not let your hearts be troubled and
do not be afraid."

her other scripture
was matthew 25:23
which begins
"well done, good and faithful servant!"
which is so very true

there was a chance
to go forward and say something
this is right up my alley
i jump at the opportunity
to do these types of things
but i couldn't manage to
this time
it laid too heavy still
and i was overwhelmed
by the promises Jesus
was revealing
one after another

the first lady to get up there
visited with alma
a few hours before she died
alma kept dozing
all of the sudden
she raised her left arm
and said
"my sweet jesus"
a few minutes later
she raised her arm again
still a few more minutes pass
and she opens her eyes
looks at this lady
says "i just can't describe the beauty
oh, the colors
there are so many"
her daughters come in
two hours later
within ten minutes
she is gone

oh, Lord
thank you for assuring us
that this sweet saint
is safe in your arms
full of happiness

two members of the church
brother and sister
sing "you raise me up"
and the sister chokes up
at the end
and i lose it again

then some other people
i didn't know
sang one of my all-time favorite songs
that i posted about
a long time ago

and crying

so tonight
i'm still alittle sad
which is normal
but i'm not empty
my special friend
is gone
but not forgotten
even in death
she has been there for me

and my cup runneth over

2 rays through the fog:

Brenda said...

This touched me deeply. I don't doubt for one minute that God answered your prayer. How awesome is He to give you assurance that your dear friend is at home with Him? What a blessing to be able to rejoice in the midst of your sorrow!

I pray that He will continue to reveal Himself to you and that you will find comfort in His presence.


Blazer1234 said...

I'm glad you were given what you were looking for. It sounds like the service was one that celebrated Alma's life, and that God was there reassuring you that she is safe and sound.
It makes me feel a little more at ease knowing you are finding peace with it all.
Love ya.

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