It was a dreary day. And the sun disappeared too quickly. I was running late. So I half-ran to the small auditorium.
“I hope I’m not too late to hear her sing.” I reached the door. Stop. Pause.
“I hope the door will not creak when I open it. I don’t want to disturb the audience.”
Applause. The school concert was in full swing. One of the students has just finished singing.
Then I saw her. My beautiful girl. She’s next. She stood up, confident, then took her place next to the piano. She turned to the pianist, nodded, then as her eyes swept the audience, she saw me and smiled.
Her gaze turned to a distant point beyond the audience. And she sang. Clear, sparkling beautiful soprano. My beautiful girl.
“Oh God-our heavenly Father.
Oh, God-and my father
Who is also in heaven.
May the light of this
Illuminate the night the way
Your spirit illuminates my soul.”
Singing her heart out. Mine skipped a beat. I am taken by surprise by her choice of song. No one stirs as the beautiful blend of melodious words ring out.
“Papa, can you hear me?
Papa, can you see me?
Papa, can you find me in the night?
Papa, are you near me?
Papa, can you hear me?
Papa, can you help me not be frightened?”
Grief. Loss. Failure. Disappointment. Shattered dreams. Life is messy. It’s not perfect. Where is hope? How can anyone cope?
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:6-8 The Bible, Message Version
Singer, exemplary student, athlete, friend to many, a blessing to her family. How can she radiate joy in spite of the loss? What is the secret?
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! Romans 8:15-17 The Bible, Message Version
In Jesus, she has hope. Living well each day, and setting her eyes on eternity.
“Papa, how I love you
Papa, how I need you
Papa, how I miss you
Kissing me good night.”
Marked by loss, but not defined by it. Sometimes bowed down, but never crushed. Just a child, but so wise. Not relying only on her own physical strength (though she is strong), not only by her own mental grit (and she has this in abundance), but leaning on the power of God in her life.
Grief. Loss. Failure. Disappointment. Shattered dreams. Life is messy. It’s not perfect. How can anyone cope? There is hope!
This post was written in response to the sudden death of young Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Rest in peace, Phillip Hughes.
A few weeks later came the shattering news of the siege at the Sydney Lindt Cafe in Martin Place. The outpouring of grief over those who died was felt across the nation, and reverberated around the world. The Lindt Cafe has since re-opened, signalling the will to choose hope, not despair.
May those who love, mourn and miss their loved ones receive comfort and hope from The Great Comforter.
“God blesses those who mourn,