First, my anxious eyes heavy with sleepless fatigue saw the alarm beep at what some would consider an ungodly hour but on this day, was a God-filled hour.
I saw my children rise to the occasion and rise before the sun without grumps or complaints, but with resolute faithfulness in their tired eyes, unwavering in their desire to fulfill my difficult request.
I saw the sunrise in the east through their eyes as they described to me the shapes in the clouds and the colors painted on a clear blue canvas while I was staring at a muted gray slab adorned with white stripes heading south.
I saw the tears of my daughters flow freely for the love of a little one they never got a chance to meet in person, but in person were honoring his precious little life.
I saw my son act like the young man he is growing into with care and concern, but also with collected calm and strength.
I saw the soothing waters of grace flow from the work of unseen prayer warriors. It washed over all of us present comforting our sorrowful hearts.
I saw a family say goodbye and shed tears of grief for the little one who blessed all of our lives so briefly but who’s presence they will miss most. United in their suffering, they leaned on each other and found the strength to soldier on.
I saw a community of indomitable women surround and console one of their own who was feeling weak. They helped her smile, helped her laugh, helped her heal.
I saw more than I could count small town strangers stop and let the solemn caravan pass by honoring the life that was no more. Some even stood by the side of the road with their hats over their hearts in a measure of respect that I thought died out with generations past. They didn’t know who’s mother was shedding bittersweet tears. Old or young, salesman or soldier. It didn’t matter. Still, they stood.
I saw a community of faith generously give to those who needed sustenance without asking for thanks or favor in return thereby nourishing the graces of charity and love for neighbor, not of self.
I saw my children play.
Frolicking and romping with friends they’d never met. Delighting in the joys of shared childhood games and speaking that language that children understand. I delighted in seeing them experience this joy after so much grief. It was but a little taste of what awaits us after our walk through this valley of tears. This dear child of God already knows that perfect joy and perhaps this glimpse was his gift to those left behind.