For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
~ Psalm 100:5
The last few days have been filled with many special moments. I met a cousin for the first time after doing a 23 and Me DNA kit. I saw my stepbrother, James, whom I hadn't seen in forty years. I had lunch with four of my high school teachers who had a direct impact on who I am today. I have walked hills and "hollers" of my childhood, viewed God's beauty of fall in the forest, and listened to the clock tower announce the hour at Indiana University where I attended college over thirty years ago.
As I prepare for bed, reflecting upon all of these moments, I realize that they all happened because my cousin John died and he simply asked that I bring his ashes back to Indiana.
What I have discovered is that death seems to have touched my life in an unexpected way. While I have been grieving the loss of John, I have touched on significant relationships through these encounters and discovered that in my brokenness, I am being healed in a very beautiful way. It's as if my relationship with John, which was filled with moments surrounded by unconditional love, have opened a way for me to encounter a greater understanding what unconditional love through loss actually looks like.
These encounters have done more than just brought about healing. There has also been a great sense of belonging. It has reminded me of the immense love that exists, and is available to each of us.
The reality of experiences like these remind each of us that we can live from a deep belief that we all have love to offer to others, not only here, but even beyond the life that we live.
I am reminded that I was loved by God before I breathed my first breath. God will also continue to love me after I have exhausted my final breath as well.
Our lifetimes, no matter how long or short, are expressions of the opportunity to receive love, grow in love, and to share love with others.
Jesus asks that we, "Remember" him when we encounter the wine and bread in the covenant he made with us.
When we die love continues to be active, and from our full communion with God we are present by love to those we leave behind.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.