Friday, October 22, 2010

A Pretty Red Bow

God is so neat. He never does anything like I quite expect or plan out but His version is so much better.

Last week around this time, I was praying so hard for assurance of my PawPaw's salvation. I just had to have a clear 'yes'. I wanted this package I had dreamed up, complete with a big red bow on the top. I never got that. But this week, I've got peace that passes all understanding. Not about whether or not PawPaw knew Jesus but that I serve a Sovereign Lord, in control of all things, and I don't have to know. It's okay. No matter what.

The funeral was awesome. The Marine Corps handled everything with full honors, complete with a 21 gun salute. (Well, 22. Skylar, my cousin's newborn, fired her own round in her diaper just to send PawPaw off with style. It was loud!) My Nana was so strong. My uncle was so strong. Gosh, all of us were pretty strong. The preacher who officiated the service did a wonderful job and gave God glory above all else. He weaved Scripture throughout the message that gave hope and reminded us of our heritage we've inherited through Jesus. He also talked about the heritage and legacy PawPaw left with his sons and grandchildren.

I do love being on this side of the funeral arrangements though. There's more peace. It's just brighter. God gave me a picture of the disciples and the three Marys after the Cross. No wonder they were in such a hurry to get to the tomb Sunday morning! They just wanted to be there. We just wanted to be together at that funeral home. But now that everything's over, we still just want to be together. But the setting's much different. Much more joyful. Last night, we had dinner brought by loving friends to my parent's house. There were babies running around everywhere, laughter around the table, with coffee and dessert to moan over. I'm glad that we're on this side of the funeral. I'm glad that we're on this side of the Cross.

I didn't get my pretty little package with the big red bow of PawPaw's salvation on top. Instead, I got an ice-cream sundae. Sundaes, with their gloopy and sticky goodness, are messier than packages, with their crisp and pristine edges. (Ask anyone who's ever taken a toddler to Bruster's!) But they're also so much sweeter. Mine came with all the fixin's.....Nana smiling as she played with Esther Grace, Jonah reenacting the ceremony with his cap-gun rifle and saying he wants to be a Marine (which will change next week when he's Buzz Lightyear for Halloween), my uncle and dad watching TV and talking in the yard about who knows what, my cousin and myself ganging up on my sister and giving her a hard time as usual, And the cherry on top? His grace, His mercy, His peace, His Sovereign control of all things. That's better than any neatly wrapped package I could ever dream up.

"...Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

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