Today I went to a funeral and couldn’t help but reflect during the service.
I sat behind a blind man…thankful for my eyes and the magnificence I see in everyday things. I lingered on this gratitude a bit longer as the brilliant stained glass windows framed his silhouette. I followed the sun rays that cast vibrant colors on the walls and carpet. And I saw. I saw the beauty and a million pictures I wanted to take. More than that… I saw how incredible my life is. I had come to the funeral with unresolved feelings. In his death, this man had given me a gift I probably didn’t deserve, considering the bitter feelings I had carried around through the years and my resistance to forgive him. I sat there, my thoughts wandering a bit. I smiled, thankful for the person singing loudly, off key, and a full beat behind the rest of us…it meant I could hear. Hearing the hundreds of people honor this man in song moved me to my core. It moved my heart to feel, to forget, to forgive. As I watched the grieving widow and family in the front pews, I said a prayer of thanks for my amazing family both next to me and those far away from us. As I read that this man had lost his leg in the second World War and had spent over two years recovering in the hospital, I welcomed the constant “sit…stand” that frequents a Lutheran service and the heavy hymnal I held. It meant I had the use of all my limbs. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, opportunities like this shake me into such gratefulness for my life, my family, my job, and the chance to be humbled. And humbled (once again) I was!
As I walked out of that church, I was thankful for the sorrow I now felt, the dull ache in my neck and head, my hungry stomach, and the long list of duties to still accomplish in the day…it meant I was alive. I was alive, and I could see, really see.