Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10
His death sent visceral shockwaves through our community. Ripples of grief spread through every generation of this town as old tears were shed with new ones.
I did not know him personally, this strapping young man, but only of him and his young sister who attends the school I work at. It was in support of her and our school staff and simply as a member of the community that I attended his funeral.
Approaching the edge of the thousand strong crowd huddled on the vibrant green oval, the deep and fierce love of his family and of his community is painfully palpable, radiating out in shocked, silent grief.
Stretched out high above us all is a brilliant, clear and piercing blue sky, a canopy of discordant comfort. For weeks and weeks we’ve had terribly gloomy weather- very cold with days and days of rain – but today, of all days, the skies are blue and the sun shines?
Perhaps the sun bathes them? Shrouds us? Soothes them in their shock, sorrow and disbelief?
Perhaps the sunshine is not entirely out of place. Perhaps it is a small tender mercy midst the sorrow of the day.
Perhaps it is a symbolically-laden hope-filled reminder that though this world is full of sorrow – sorrow, upon sorrow, upon sorrow – yet still there is light.
To love and to be loved is surely life’s noblest pleasure, life’s most wondrous gift.
To bid farewell is surely life’s darkest hour, love’s most painful task.
“One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock…
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord” Psalm 27