My Friend is Gone

My day began with sadness, as a community recalled the life and legacy of Jean Fonville.  A woman of tremendous faith who devoted all she had to her husband, family, church and to her God. Her best friend of 45 years, and Godmother to her daughter said sadly, “My friend is gone.” Her gentle conversation mingled with tears, sorrow and disbelief spoke volumes of a relationship that span not only years, but every connected moment. Moments built on joys, challenges, and the inevitable cycles of life cemented in their love for one another. The statement, which briefly sounded so final, open the door to a moment of realization, as she said one day we will see each other again. Losing a loved one is never easy. Thoughts of past experiences enjoyed gives way to the knowledge that those moments, or others like them, are forever lost. But as her friend said to me with complete confidence, I know I will see her and the next time will be different for both of us.

As I ponder her comments, and those of my dear friend of many years, I wrote in my journal, ” The legacy of lives brought together by a single act or [encounter] forged a bond that is broken [momentarily] by death. The next time Jean and her friend see each other it will be like the ending of the story of the prodigal son, what was lost is now found.  Her dear friend is gone, but oh what a glorious reunion awaits them.  Rest in peace Jean.
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Yea, thou I walk

The events of December 14th have touched the hearts and souls of the world.  Sorrow, anguish, horror, sadness and pain for those lost, and for those left behind to cope with their journey through the valley of the shadow of death.

Lord, paint our souls with a picture of you, so Your divine light can be seen in this dark world. Paint our hearts with your love to enable us to show what real love really is. Paint our spirits with your peace so we become vessels of calm in troubled waters.  Paint our minds with your wisdom, and our bodies with your strength and mercy, so that we show your amazing grace to the world.

Help us Lord, to walk with these families and others through this time.  Their journey through these dark days are beyond comprehension.  And like others before them, remind us all that our personal journeys intersect with theirs right now, and as your servants we have a work to do them.

Lord, let them know they are not alone, for you are with them.  Your rod and staff will comfort them, and the table you’ve prepared is anointed with your healing oil.  Remind them You are filling their cups with your loving comfort, like the gates of heaven.

Lord, be with these families whose children, and loved ones are gone and with those who are providing care, comfort, support, aid.  Give us the strength and courage as a nation to help, really help those who need it.  Amen