Friday, June 28, 2013

Feeble & Broken

About a year ago, I copied this in my journal. And now it gives voice--not so much to my own searing pain (as it did last year), but to the pain of another. Dear friends whose life hold the most daunting unknowns and fears. A great storm.

I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. (Psalm 38:8-9)

C.H. Spurgeon, in his Treasury of David, discusses this passage:

Deep, hoarse, inarticulate is the voice of sorrow. The heart learns groanings that cannot be uttered; the voice fails to tone and tune to human speech. When our prayers seem more animal than spiritual, they nonetheless prevail with the pitiful Father of Mercy. He hears the murmur of the heart and the roaring of the soul, and in due time He comes to relieve the afflicted.

Words fail. The heart throbs, but lips are silent. No one--not even our dearest friends--can decifer our groans. We run--with all of our undone-ness--to our Soul Reader. Our Father of Mercy.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Last night we buried Chris' ashes.

Chris' family and mine, along with Jeff (Chris' very best friend) and Jodi, gathered for an informal ceremony. We buried the last of Chris' earthly existence in the ground on the property of my parents in Afton. Rob, (Chris' brother) and his family were in town, and it was important for to have them present.

I was glad for the time to consider how best do this. In the end, I decided on something very different than I originally planned. And I'm so very happy with it.

I will let the pictures tell the story.

Jeff prayed and read some Scripture

Steve & Rob (Chris' brothers) buried the ashes

Above the ashes, we planted Chris' favorite tree--a Russian Olive

A picture of the grave marker that has been ordered

By Daddy's tree

S'mores all around

yep...Emily even had a s'more--Chris would be SO proud

Friday, June 14, 2013


As I make plans for Chris' remains--his ashes--I have also been trying to prepare Erika for what will be happening when we bury the last earthly evidence of her daddy. And it seems she is taking it all in.

Yesterday in the car, she told me she was thinking about her daddy and when he could come back.

I told her, "Baby, remember that when someone's body dies, they can't come back. Daddy's soul is with Jesus. He will stay there. But we will see him again when our bodies die."

She wondered, "Mom, maybe our bodies will die soon? Will my body and your body die at the same time?"

"I don't know when, sweetheart. Only God knows. And our bodies probably won't die at the same time."

She hopefully disagreed. "Yeah, I think they will."

How painful it is to me that my daughter knows and understands the awful separation that death brings! She has had this separation with her daddy, and she surely doesn't want it again with her mommy.

And so I pray that God would redeem all this pain. That He would work in my girl in a very powerful way because of all of this loss. And I pray too, that her little heart would be spared--at least for a long time--any more painful separations.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I finally got around to seeing Lincoln, which I missed when it was in theatres (I don't get to a lot of movies lately). I was overcome by a few scenes in particular.

President and Mrs. Lincoln argued bitterly and mourned separately. Their son had died in his childhood three years before. And this husband and wife did not understand each other.

Mr. Lincoln says this to his broken wife--the wife who nearly lost her mind with the pain of it all:
"I couldn't tolerate you grieving so for Willy because I couldn't tolerate it in myself--though I wanted to, Mary. I wanted to crawl under earth. Into the vault with his coffin. And I still do--every day I do. Don't speak to me about grief."

And there is another scene in which the bereaved father--our President Lincoln--finds his other young son asleep on the floor with a picture of his dead brother beside him. And that father curls next to him on the floor for a moment and then tenderly carries the boy to bed.

And finally, we see the utter anguish on the faces of this man's wife and young son when they learn that their principled, broken, exhausted man--the man dearest to them--has been struck down...

The movie is about emancipation. The Civil War.

But, these scenes gripped me most (my history teacher husband would perhaps be sorely disappointed in me). Because grief is so very different in people. BUT it breaks the heart--no matter what.