From the moment he entered my life, my son Tyler has been a source of joy to me. It was clear early on that he had an unusually sweet spirit, and his father and I thanked God for blessing us with him. Tyler’s father, Billy, died yesterday, and I’ve never been more proud of my son than I have been during the past two months. When Tyler learned his dad was dying, he immediately began making that process more pleasant for him. He took time from work and his family to spend it with his dad. The girls got to get to know their grandfather during a visit a few weeks ago, and their presence blessed Billy so very much.
Billy and I had a difficult marriage, but we were always in agreement when it came to Tyler. We loved him dearly and believed him to be the best thing either of us ever accomplished. Tyler is selfless and loves with his whole heart. There aren’t many folks like that in this world, and I thank God for placing him in my path because he has taught me much more than I ever taught him. My heart has gone out to him as he has had to deal with some very serious matters and emotions. He has persevered in a beautiful way, and I thank God for giving him and his dad a special time together.
Death makes all of us stop and take an accounting of our lives, and I’ve done that over the past two months. I made peace with Billy years ago, and I was glad to be able to spend time at Tyler’s wedding last year talking to him about our sweet son. Dealing with the death of a parent is a difficult part of life, and I watched my son deal with his dad’s death in a way that was surprising even for him. He’s a giver and always has been. As he told me once, the way we love isn’t easy, but it’s the right way. I’ve seen firsthand lately what that love looks like as I’ve watched it play out in his dealings with Billy. You’re right Tyler; it is the right way to love. Thank you for reminding me. I love you!!
Psalm 30:5 reminds me that “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Yesterday was a day filled with weeping as beautiful young children were taken from us in a deeply disturbing way. Many others died across the country yesterday; one was a special young man in my own town who ended his own life. He was a former student and very dear to me. My heart was filled with much weeping yesterday, and my sleep was troubled throughout the night. God reminded me this morning that the final victory is His.
Weeping may last for the night, and I know many will be weeping for many nights to come, but joy does come when we remember that death has lost its sting. We cannot lose sight of God’s victory or death’s grip will take hold of our hearts and steal our joy. Loved ones leave us lonely and hurting as we long for their love, but we can rest assured that they are in God’s loving presence where death does not exist any more.
Death has no authority in God’s kingdom. Christ put an end to death when he rose from His grave. It is the hope that allows us to continue living and loving in a world designed to make us give up. God bids us to remember who He is and that His kingdom has a new design. We are here to learn about love and grow closer to Him and to one another. That is a plan that brings hope, joy, peace, and love if we will remember that the war has already been won. The victory is and always will be God’s.
Let’s help each other as we walk through the times of weeping. Holding a hand, saying a prayer, and just being present. Having someone hear my heart helps me find joy in the morning, and hearing someone’s heart does the same. When we weep together through the dark night, we find the strength to make it to the morning light together. Loneliness is at the heart of all those who are hurting, and I pray that I am more mindful of those in my path who need a little love. Instead of arming ourselves with bigger guns, I pray we will arm ourselves with bigger hearts filled with compassion and reach out to one another in love. It was love, after all, that won the war in the first place.