I can only imagine. That was the title of a song magnificently sung during a funeral I attended this past week. It’s a popular song and it’s a gorgeous song. In it, MercyMe wonders if one will dance upon reaching heaven, or will one fall to their knees or just be still. It always makes one think and it had the congregation hushed and reflective.
It’s never easy to attend a funeral but this one was inspiring in so many ways.
First off, the celebrant, who was a family member visiting priest, compared life to the departed’s love of golf. Apparently this loving man had a wicked slice but still loved the game. He had faith in his game and such is life said Father Bobby. Life is often all over the place, full of slices and hooks and even many a sand trap and bogey, but through it all we still have faith. We have faith that at the end of our ultimate round, we will find our true game and our glorious eternity.
As hard as it is to attend a funeral, it’s even harder to find the new normal once a loved one is gone. The calls stop coming, the hugs disappear, and people move on with their lives. Reality sets in and pain resurfaces. I loved what Father Bobby told the family though when he said, “Life changed, but it didn’t end.” For their loved one, life is now at its fullest and although theirs is forever changed, they too can only imagine what lies ahead. He lived a good and full life and was loved by all. That’s all we can ask, even as our hearts break and our souls ache. Life’s challenges are designed not to break us though, but to bend us toward God. At times like this however, we stiffen up and it all seems so difficult but as Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
As I sat in the service, wiping tears when “The Peace Prayer of St. Francis” was sung, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life and those I love and cherish.
Fresh off my annual college girls’ trip, I felt beyond grateful for these four gal pals of nearly 30 years. Being with them brings true joy and laughter to my life and I feel energized when I’m with them (albeit frumpy as well, surrounded by their beauty and impeccable style) and always learn something from each one of them.
I’m always happy to return home though. My sister is in town with my new grand-nephew (I constantly remind my niece that I’m officially a “great” aunt!) and I love spending time with them and my husband. I also enjoy being back at work, and as I sat in the funeral and noticed two entire pews of colleagues there supporting our co-worker who lost her dad, I couldn’t help but get chills and tear up once again. How beautiful it was to see these busy but loyal women drop everything on their day off and come be as one.
This is what life, and death, is all about. It’s not about money or power or things, it’s about the people you love and who love you. It’s about living a life that results in every putt dropping and the caddie of all caddies carrying you through every round. I can only imagine.