Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To God Be the Glory

"My nephew was killed today." I sit at my computer and read these words on the Facebook page of my dear cousin Curtis and my heart stops. I go into that mode where I doggedly try to gather information, sending emails and making phone calls, but with no luck. Tragedies take time to unravel.

How quickly events happen and families are left bewildered and questioning...feeling it all to be a bad dream from which they'll awaken and life will be like it was before. Electrocution is the verdict. Roof maintenance. His mother and father, my older cousins, had just sat at the picnic table and talked with him 30 minutes before. It couldn't be! But, it was.

Virginia is so green in May...much more a visual to life than to death. I drive on to Nelson County and the little country church by the stream where my family waits, gathered in small clusters here and there. Hugs and hushed voices, small laughs stifled because it's not right to laugh at a funeral...or is it? Such a hard time to have a family reunion, but that's really what it is borders on becoming...but we must behave and put our grown-up faces on for the sake of everyone.

A flag draped casket sits at the end of the aisle, reminding me that it is Memorial Day weekend...and reminding me of how little I knew about this cousin. What else didn't I know and why had I never taken the time? Oh, the regrets when we know it is too late.

"We're getting ready to close the casket." Mother takes one last look at her baby and sags in the arms of a supporter, sobbing quietly in protest and is led to her seat beside Father. The pastor tells stories of long ago and boyhood days, and asks us to stand and sing the song chosen for this occasion.

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.


Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

The little church fills with the sounds of singing and I think of the words and am strengthened by the faith of this grieving couple. Burying their precious boy, yet singing Glory to our Lord....surely there is a lesson in this for me. What is my response when even the smallest of disappointments mar my day or even larger heartaches happen? I will remember this day, in this quiet little spot alongside the rushing mountain stream, and will seek to praise the Lord for the great things He has done.

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