But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.
~ Isaiah 40:31
The morning began with word that the daughter of a dear friend and colleague has died. It has been a difficult journey for the entire family, and now the dance that we all seem to do with death, has partnered itself and danced a minuet that shall make today more memorial for other reasons.
I write about a lot of things, but I must admit, there are simply some days that leave me asking God the larger, unsettling questions. I have grown to realize that these days are by far some of the most revealing to my own spiritual growth.
It saddens me when people suffer.
It saddens and disturbs me when people are missing.
It breaks my heart when parents with children who have young children still living at home die.
I know that God is present. I have shared that message in sermons, discussions, and through my words. I have attempted to provide the example to convey God's prevalent love and presence, even when the days are dark, but if I'm truthful, some days are left with no words. Simply silence.
Yet, today I find it necessary to write and to voice that there is peace in this news as well, especially after having known some of the struggles.
I have often confronted myself and others to provide an understanding of the troubles we face each day, but in my own heart and convictions staring me in the face, I recognize the prevailing and living God who has heard my heart thoughts with the echo of each beat, and has embraced my questions and assured me and those around shall be fine.
It's not easy at times to begin the day wandering within the valley of the shadow of death, but as I close my eyes in prayer, I greet the knowledge that the darkness may not, and cannot overcome the perceived and known light that exists that shall prevail.
Years ago I was sitting in a small cafe in Georgetown as the sun was beginning to set. There in the distance on the hill, a small flame seemed to grow in strength. The "Eternal Flame," that lights the site where President John F. Kennedy's grave, reminds us that even a small dim light on a hill can be seen, and provide hope for the future.
On this Memorial Day weekend, where we remember those who were lost to wars and conflicts, may our thoughts on death be comforted by peace, understanding, and rest.
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 at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.