Tragedy was faced today. It has a magnificent power to break hearts in two, yet bring people together in love and community. Sitting in church this morning listening to the sweet strains of "Nearer My God to Thee" on a violin made tears spring to my eyes. Voices raised to sing the familiar hymn and I closed my eyes to let the words wash over me. As I listened, a picture started to develop.
I was walking into the throne room. I look around as I slowly walked toward the throne. He sat there, quietly watching me. I looked up, tears welling in my eyes for my beautiful friend and sister and her siblings. I had so many questions. "Why would you take a husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, friend?" "Why would you take away the arms that held a family?" "Why would you not allow my friend to be able to walk down the aisle with her daddy, her dressed in white?" "Why would you break an already weather-worn family even further?" The questions poured out, as He sat and listened to me.
He cried with me, and gave me another picture. I saw him in the hospital with the family, then later at the memory-filled farmhouse. He had been sitting there, loving gently, comforting with grace and indescribable peace. His arms surrounded the farmhouse, creating a safe haven of rest. He then gently told me that my questions were valid, yet at this time the answers were still His to have. In control He is, and sometimes I fight this, but grace, grace...incredible grace.
Tears stream now writing this all. I remember this gentle man, full of wit. Mention was made of his humor and quirky little quotes this morning, and my heart smiled as I remembered. Leroy was his nickname for me, so Leroy I will always treasure. He always seemed to love with his full heart, his smile lighting up a room. I remember small jokes, and much teasing, but always full of love for people. I can't even begin to share everything on my mind, but I give this as tribute in honor of a man who by our perspective was taken far too soon. So mourn we shall, yet I have hope that joy will in the morning, and that the sun will rise, because:
"Then like a hero who takes the stage when we're on the edge of our seats saying it's too late, well let me introduce you to amazing grace."