This morning, at the start of the worship service, I felt more joyful than I have for awhile. My strength is in you, Lord. The words of the praise song poured out from me.
Then we reached the final song, "Untitled Hymn," commonly known as "Come to Jesus" by Chris Rice. And of course the lyrics got to me. With your final heartbeat ... go in peace, and laugh on glory's side.
Oh, God. One heartbeat, Jolene was alive. The next, she was dead. My voice broke, and I tried to keep from crying.
Understand, I stand in the choir loft. I feel like I'm on display before the whole church. I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder, one of the sopranos noticing my distress. She handed me a tissue. I blinked back the tears, wiped my eyes. By then, the song had ended.
All during the sermon, the Lord's Supper, lunch, I would remember the words, With your final heartbeat, and I would start to cry all over again. After we ate, the heaviness passed.
In A Grief Unveiled, Floyd talks about "the problem." It's not theological, he said. Amen. I KNOW Jolene is in heaven, in peace, and laughing.
No, as Paul says in Colossians--the faith and love that sustain me through the pain spring from the hope that is stored up for me in heaven (Colossians 1:5-6.) It's there, solid and sure. His grace for today is enough.
As a funny footnote, I choked on the communion cracker during the Lord's Supper and couldn't stop coughing. One of the deacons fetched water for me. This morning, I really WAS the talk of the church.