Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hearts & Crosses, Part III

When last I left you, my family here on Earth was deeply ensconced  in receiving evidence of my dad's watching over us after he passed.  Hearts & Crosses were the messages received and it was with great joy that we discovered each item, each sign.  Still, there was no getting around the true heartbreak we were beginning to endure.  As happy as we were that we continued to have glimpses of Daddy's presence with us, it simply couldn't replace his humanity...his warmth and love, his smell and touch, his laughter and twinkling eyes. 

Daddy passed on a Sunday, and we worked very hard over the next three days to ready ourselves for his viewing on Wednesday and funeral on Thursday.  Each morning after awakening, I diligently read each of my devotionals...two books with accompanying Scripture passages and three faith-based blogs.  Distraught, I sought comfort.  I searched and searched for something relevant, something which would spread a much needed balm on the wounds of my soul, easing my pain. 

Nothing...

I prayed in the morning when I arose, "Lord, thank you for sending me a message that will comfort me."

Nothing written...

Thursday morning dawned and with it a new level of sorrow.  I sat down to breakfast with Christine and said, "I just feel nauseous."  She said, "Me too."  We agreed we needed to eat a little something simply so we could get through the day.  We had our coffee and just kept looking at each other, "I can't believe this is happening.  I can't believe this is really happening.  I don't want to go."

I could feel the tide welling within me, ready to burst.  I left the room and started a low level wail before remembering I had not read my online devotionals.  "Please Lord, please.  Please Daddy.  Please make it something meaningful."  I prayed these words while remembering back to the previous days' offerings:  how to make your garden more beautiful, fostering friendships, the importance of forgiveness, memorial day stories and remembrances...all lovely submissions just none significant to my need.

I read the first.  The subject?  How everything we do matters because everyone is watching.  True, but not helpful. 

I read the second:  Learning to find peace in the stillness, in the absence of movement.  Yessss, but I can't absorb that lesson right now.  That's for next month.

Finally, with a sigh, I opened the final submission found on (in)courage, written by Ann Voskamp.  My throat caught, tightening as the tears began.  The title read:

"A Prayer for the Brokenhearted"

I silently began crying and praying prayers of thanksgiving.  It took a moment before I could continue...

"Father of the broken-hearted daughter...
oh, hear our prayer."

The tears were flowing freely now but more from joy than sorrow.  My prayer was answered.  I ran to my brother-in-law's office and pulled the piece up on my computer, printing up copies for my sisters to give them before the funeral.  I then ran to the kitchen and said to Christine, "You're never going to believe the title and opening lines to my devotional today!"  As I read them to her, we just kept saying, "No, no, no, no!!  Uh-uh, uh-uh...oh my gosh!"   And we were grinning and thanking God and Daddy when my brother-in-law, Jeff, piped in, "But did you show her the picture?"

I hadn't noticed the picture, I'm embarrassed to say.  He was just grinning from ear to ear.  I turned it over and Christine and I saw...










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Our hearts spread all over the table, exposed in their vulnerability, whole, in pieces, unformed, some literally broken.  But the heart in focus, of course, held gently, tenderly, cradled in the love of both Fathers.  Thank you, thank you, for these precious signs of Your grace.  Thank you, thank you for holding our hearts in the palm of Your hands.


{One more installment of this poignant story before I'm through. 
So grateful you stopped by to share it with me.}




Photo credit:  Ann Voskamp on Flicker

3 comments:

  1. Cynthia, I'm a new follower from the (in)courage community, and it was the title of your blog that brought me here. I'm looking forward to getting to know you through your writing.
    Peace and good

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  2. Beloved, thank you so much for stopping by. I feel blessed you are here. (sorry for the delay in responding...I have been on travel with spotty coverage). I love the in courage community and truly have found such special grace there. I hope you enjoy what you find here. I look forward to talking again. Grace to you.,.

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