Lyndl, Tyrone and I met for prayer yesterday morning. We could only talk of one thing – the loss of our friend Lyle. I asked Lyndl how he was doing. He graduated with Lyle’s brother, Randy. They grew up in Tuttle and as kids spent a great deal of time together. In fact, I learned last night that Randy and Lyndl roomed together in college. Lyndl responded to my question by saying he could not think of much else on Monday. The thoughts of Lyle were pervasive. I suppose that describes my own state.
I shared with someone over the past couple of days, my apologies if you read this as these days have been a bit blurry, my experience with those who have died. I recall in Milford receiving a call from a funeral home asking if I would perform a graveside ceremony for a very young couple who lost an infant. I did not know them. They did not live nearby. They had no one. I recall the services in which I spoke of my grandpa Spears and my dad’s twin Dick. I thought of Miss Thelma in Milford who had played the organ there more than 50 years. I thought of Shane at 18, Zachary at 7 and Cameron at 3 – all within nine months.
Getting my mind around the ebbs and flows of life and the reality of death is not so difficult. When it comes so close, that is another story. It is not that I doubt the Triune God in whom I trust. I think it is simply the recognition of my own limitations. Try as I might to come up with something soothing and satisfying, something to help it all go down, the normal trite responses increasingly make it more difficult. I have confidence in the place these I have mentioned now are. I have just come to realize the life of faith is about so much more than where you end up. The relationship is now the location of our eternity is a product of that relationship. We have too often made the destination the point of it all. I see God working in his world to have a people in relationship with himself. Certainly that extends beyond death but we make it all about what happens after you die.
I am still trying to get my mind around life, around the loss of those we love. And that includes, my friend Lyle.