What do you do after an amazing service at church? We went to see Archie.
This was Taylor’s first visit since California, because she’s been ill. We sat back to back on the bench reminiscing about our last day with “Dad.” How the week between when he died and the funeral was so awful but the day of the funeral we stayed at the the church from noon until the viewing at five, the two of us, just hanging out with Archie. It was a good day.
We had been together for that whole month because of his cancer. He was in bed most of the time, three pillows behind his head, two under each arm. Taylor sat at the end of the bed, college books sprawled, just to be in the same room with him. Though he barely spoke for that month, he was there. For that week between his home going and the funeral, not seeing him was killing us. For the afternoon, that last afternoon, we had our family for one last time.
Today there was no face to look at, no hand to hold, but the sun was shinning and we were listening to the whirl and ting-a-ling of the wind-chime, I had given Archie on my birthday.
Taylor said it was weird seeing my name on a gravestone. I think of it as a place card, just saving my spot for when it is my time to join the banquet prepared by our heavenly Dad. We talked about wanting to plant something, but nothing seems to fit, so we’ll wait. She liked the whirly and wind-chimes and commented about how dad’s neighborhood has grown by two residents since he took occupancy. Odd that we are noticing. She asked where her spot was and I showed her. Again, odd at the age of 21, making sure your “spot is reserved.” This is all so bizarre.
After we left Taylor needed to run a few errands. When we got home…life hit, and I’m not sure why. We thought and made plans to make cards, but things kept getting in the way. I couldn’t find my flowers, the card bases were in the wrong spot, the dishes needed to be done, pictures in a pile were driving me crazy–I had to get them on the wall.
EVERYTHING seemed like it was out of order. Everywhere I looked felt like an unfinished project that Arch and I had started. I kept moving from one thing to the next, rushing. I felt like I was behind, heart racing, but for what?!?!?! I hated this feeling and shared my frustration with Taylor.
“You want coffee, Mom?”
Magic words. Yesterday I knew what she needed, today it was her turn, for me. I finished up that last of two projects while she made me decaf. I’m super cheap now, so the left over coffee from this morning she carefully poured into a container for me to warm up tomorrow. I never thought I’d do that, but as they say,”waste not, want not,” and at this point in my life I am grateful for everything.
Taylor was winding down as her stamina is still wavering, but she’s healing, one day at a time. Off to bed for my dear daughter, then time for me to process what was, what is, and what is yet to come.
My mind goes to other people saying who they think God is. Hmmm…some people have these heady explanations with Greek based words and long definitions. When I sit in the quiet of the green room at the desk, with the sleepy pups, playing worship music to silence the echoing solitude, my heart doesn’t want to hear wordy explanations of a detached being standing above me with a gavel, waiting to pass judgment.
Everyday I gain a new perspective of who He is, in a more intimate way. When someone is holding you up, you tend to get to know them in a truly personal way. They are too close to you for you try and conceal flaws and imperfections. He sees me for who I am, uglies and all. It’s humbling.
Pastor Darry spoke of how some of us have a “coke machine” view of God. If you stick a dollar bill in a coke machine, sometimes it pops back out. So you turn the bill over and try it again, to no avail. Then you rub the dollar over the edge of the machine trying to straighten to perfection, still nothing. In comparison, sometimes we feel like if we “get it right” we can ask God for anything and He will pop out whatever the request.
Other’s view God as Santa Clause: naughty and nice. If we are good, we will get everything we want.
Neither are true. Life is life. We are not robots. We wouldn’t want to be. If God wanted to control everything in our lives, we would be bored and we’d hate it and probably rebel (Adam and Ever ring any bells?). Life if full of joy and tears. He rejoices and cries with us.
Sometimes in my thought process I wonder what Archie’s last thought was. Was he scared? Was he at peace? Was he in pain? Then I am reminded how grateful I should be because I don’t know. I would dwell on that and have difficulty finding my own peace.
Today, that thought crept up on me, yet again. This time, Darry’s message came to my mind. God created Archie. He loved him 100%. Archie didn’t have to DO anything or behave in a certain way. He was a child of God, plain and simple. He was perfect in God’s sight. God blessed him with life (and in so doing, Taylor and me, as well).
When Arch was in bed, phone in hand, having just called me, my heavenly Dad was there, in the room, standing beside him. When Arch exhaled that last time, my heavenly Dad reached out his hand, helped him out of that bed that had become his prison, and in a gentle voice said,”Let’s go home.”
That’s all I needed. No verses today. Just amazing grace that my heavenly Dad gave me a new peace for the moment.
I am blessed, even when I have done nothing to deserve it.