When I do revisit those days, I find the most perplexing piece of my life lived. Like a garden pushed up through soil holding death and pieces of what once was, I only gaze upon goodness flowering death and disappointment, a sure evidence of God’s immeasurable grace.
And soon, another evidence of good grace stands ready to fill our lives raising us from four journeying hearts to five. I can’t help but realize God foreknew of the goodness to come, all seen now and much more far into tomorrow. Even in the darkest days following my first wife’s death, the horizon glowed with hope and passage to promise. Little felt sturdy under our feet and the present day then seemed to stretch longer than my resolve. Still the horizon glowed in contrast to the faded hues of then and whispered invite and rest. When we shuffled lost and weak stepped and she meandered through life sure but curiously wondering of beyond, he knew.
Into the new horizon, the new day, hope swallowed death in a momentary microcosm of eternity arriving as always echoed. Only weeks away from the light of new day warming our faces, we couldn’t be more ready to enter in.
Let me be lovingly clear, she’s not the horizon, nor the salvation; she’s the evidence of his resolved grace. And grace continues to be the most formative teacher shaping life beautiful behind and warm joy ahead. God doesn’t keep score or measure fair of all good and bad in our lives somehow having to managing balance. Grace invades where it’s not welcomed, grabs our hand and leads us through.
The new day pushing in requires a new me – the days after yesterday brought me here. Through those grief wrenched days following death, I learned to be a different man who sweats the same, yet talks with a heart hallowed, then filled again. Grace primed me in my darkest to stand, to love and belong again. Death fits as a defining memory behind and little more than a looming reality somewhere ahead, while life rushes deeper and freer closer to the feet of God.
And so life independent must swing to life together, merging messy, lines blurred into a new color of two now together. Much of my life has been a strong lean into grace and furious falling forward each day. The approach to each day fixed into a rhythm of not focusing so much on how we made it as a family so long as we did make it, but life merging from the four of us to the five of us demands more stability and intentionality, not mere happenstance and butterflies. My love must be ready for more than just affectionate high fives and romantic date nights. After all, she is someone my heart will be tied to and my feet will find cadence with until there's little distinction.
I’m learning how to practice love that cuts through me – my fears, my circumstance, my past, my worries, my mistakes, my deficiencies – for sake of belonging to her and us and now and promise not always seen.
[II Cor 4:16-18]