by Courtney Daniel
Looking for the Missing
I look for him on Sunday, not even realizing I was expecting to glance through the end of the pew to see the socks pulled up to his knees. I look for him as we send the missionaries off, wondering what shafts of light he would find to bathe them in as the camera clicks.
I look for her as I start the batch of Christmas cards, scrawling a card to her and addressing with a smirk that I had finally memorized her address after five years. I look for her in the pictures of our last reunion, wondering if perhaps she had been tired and taking a nap.
I look for them as I pour out of my station, not even realizing as I scan the parking lot of patrol cars and weary officers ending their shifts I often search for a red head with blue eyes and a blonde with a crazy bun to be unloading their cars and happily heading home.
I look for him in the pictures of people stumbling out of wreckage. I look for words of him on facebook as a community updates via the internet and tallies a list of who is lost. I remember it is silly to look for him to have been in this storm, for he was gone a good ten years before.
I look for Him to come back, a conquering King with angels galore and with His coming a glorious gift of healing. I look for those who have gone ahead, those in white robes who are already perched and comfortable on fluffy clouds, I look for them to hug their necks.
Lessons from a Widow
It starts with hugging. I go in for a half-hug but my heart is only half in it so she gets a measly fourth and calls me on it.
"Oh! Give me a real hug! You can do better than that."
I learn the art of fully enveloping another until your soul brushes up against their soul.
Next is moving from my trademark "I just stumbled out of bed" look to something slightly cuter.
Pink. Flowers. Pants that actually fit.
I drink in deep that the clothing you wear reflects how you feel. I stop wearing the pajamas of post-baby as the child is two.
In truth it is much deeper than hugs or cute clothes. They are glimpses of an eternal thing.
Of a thing so deep it goes down to the place of the dead. Of living with death itself. Of grief. Pure. Painful. Soul-deep grief.
The lesson is simple and healing: press into Him.
Move in close to the King of the Universe and be held by the arms that made you. Truly embrace Him.
Next remove the sackcloth of the moment and let yourself be robed in righteousness.
Truly wear Him.
Finally commune with Him on the very thing He conquered that conquers us daily.
Truly grieve well.
And you will be free to love like never imagined before.
Courtney is, a writer, mother of two very energetic children, and wife to a stay-at-home philosopher.
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