Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Gentle God's Commands

I remembered too late that the choir was going to be singing her favorite hymn. The cancer had progressed enough that she was unable to come to church.

But I decided to run home and grab my audio recorder; the bishop had given me permission to do it for her.

I didn't get the whole song recorded, and I was standing too far away for it to pick up the sound well anyway.

But no matter.

The choir will sing it again at her funeral today. Assuming I can make it (oh, please, I pray that I can make it -- still sick and mornings are nearly impossible for me with my health issues), I think I am crazy to think I will be able to sing at all. (Nevermind the fact that I have very little voice due to this illness I've had.)

This is really such an understated hymn. I confess I was a little surprised when my friend said it was one of her favorites. But, considering the text more carefully, I can see why.  

How gentle God's commands!
How kind His precepts are!
Come cast your burdens on the
Lord and trust His constant care. 

Beneath his watchful eye,
His Saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard His children well.

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste, to your Heavenly Father's throne,
And sweet refreshment find.

His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day;
I'll drop my burden at His feet.
and bear a song away. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

My friend died on Wednesday.

When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December, her oncologist asked her what her goals were, what she hoped to do with the time she had left. (I wonder what my answer would be.) Without hesitation, she said that she wanted to see her new little grandchild born, and hoped to see her grandson go on a mission.

The baby was born on Thursday.

Fortunately, her son and daughter-in-law foresaw the possibility that she might not make it to the day of the birth, so they took her to the ultrasound so my friend could "see" her granddaughter, at least in that way.

I can only imagine what the family is feeling -- such sadness at the end of the life of their mother and grandmother. But such joy at the beginning of a new little life.

Doesn't that sort of summarize the bittersweet nature of this mortal existence?

I can't imagine facing the bitter such as death, though, without the knowledge of the plan of salvation, the reality that we existed before we were born and that our spirits live on after we die. That Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to someday be resurrected and live with our families again. That this life has a purpose. That God is real and loves us.

My heart is breaking at the loss of my friend, but at the same time, I rejoice with her as she is reunited with her husband, her mother, and other loved ones who passed on before her. And I carry with me priceless memories and the example she was of faith, selflessness, and love.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, until we meet again. I love you more than words can say.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My new space

This is a quiet space for me to sort through my thoughts about life, to write about my faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to capture moments I have with family and friends so as to turn those moments into memories.

It feels a bit intimidating to start with this empty space waiting to be filled. But my life is full, rich, and challenging all at once. I'm sure I won't have a problem filling the space, if I can figure out how to get what's in my head and heart out in a semi-cohesive way. That's not a small if, but we'll see how it goes....