Living the cross

{repost from 6/2021}

As I was driving home from my therapist’s office this morning, eyes red from the tears I finally let shed over new things I’m starting to grieve, I passed by a funeral home.

I saw a minivan pull into the parking lot and the van looked eerily familiar and then I saw it back up to the doors of the garage.

And I knew.

I knew what was in that van.

And it brought me back to the day he died.

The 10 hours after he died when they came to take his body.

I would’ve kept him home till the day we put him in the ground (which is what they used to do) but it was time for him to be taken.

4pm.

The two men showed up in suits. I knew we didn’t want to be there, so I showed the men where Michael was and then the kids and I went to the backyard patio.

And on the way I saw a minivan. Not a hearse. A simple minivan.

I heard them pull away and I went upstairs to find his blanket folded on his bed.

The bed alarm was going off because he wasn’t there.

He was unable to leave that bedroom for 6 weeks. We knew he was dying. We got to say goodbye. And even when he died he was still here.

Then his body was gone and the piercing of the soul that was his death became the open wound we are still tending to today.

A wound that heals and then gets ripped open by seeing a minivan in a funeral home parking lot.

Wounds that get ripped open in the therapist’s office.

Wounds that get ripped open just like His did. That’s what He said to me as I pulled over to cry. His sores opened over and over again. And I exhaled and said, OK. You know. And the common knowing got me home and gets me through.

Because His was worse. And because, while I endure all this at the hands of fate and Divine Providence, He endured it b/c He loves me. Because He wants me next to Him for all eternity.

And I kept driving and I asked, “will I ever be happy?” And He said, “those who lose their life will find it.” And I said OK. And this knowing got me home and gets me through.

I have more I want to say today, about the state of our world and church. And I will. But this morning I give you my suffering as the currency for the gold behind my words. Living the cross. Embracing the cross. May we all embrace the foolishness that is the cross.

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