Before the sermon began, our worship team led us in "Oh How He Loves Us". It's the song I asked the same worship leader to sing at the close of Sister's funeral. In those days, the days in ICU and the days just prior to the funeral, a vacuum of God's love encompassed us. Without knowing I knew it, I knew people were breathing for us, weeping prayers that provided oxygen for us so we didn't have to work to live. I remember standing during the final verse - .
..And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way... he loves us....
For the past year, I have wondered who the girl was who told Taylor's friends that she always belonged to Jesus, who planned her daughter's funeral and completed the interview and paper work for organ donation. I can see the movie play in my head and all I can say or think or remember is how loved we were. We are still very loved; we just feel more than love now..
As the sermon ended, Dr. Tom's voice softened and cracked as he offered "You are so loved" to each of the hearts in attendance this morning. He said it again and again and my heart remembered the summer morning when I was forced to stand in reverance of a God who loves us so well and in honor of a red head who loved that song and often quoted...."if his grace is an ocean, we're all sinking."
I have felt punished since that day, and because I have yet to understand grace, I am likely to feel that way again. But as we sang this song this morning, I remembered today what an ocean of grace and love felt like that week - and the many days and nights since then. Music is like that. It takes me back to actual days and moments -
I miss my daughter every moment of every day - the happy moments, the sad ones, the arguments over Christmas sweaters, the sass and the strong will, the memories, the future plans - I miss being a family of four. Painfully true, these words are much like Dr. Tom's - "even if your heart is shattered into a thousand pieces... you are loved."
It's taken almost a thousand days for me to write this - it may take more to come - but we can be in pain and still be loved. We can hate the pain; we can question the circumstance; and we can wrestle with grace until we sink. Through it all, we are so loved.