We have our small group friends over and we talk about friendship—how we need each other and how scary that can be. I have to leave early, though, so we don’t go too deep but the lesson settles under my skin—becomes air—as I slide into the church pew for the memorial service.
There’s a little boy in the pew right in front of me and he looks so small. He is wearing a plaid shirt with red threaded through baby blue. This little boy lost his father this week and I can’t stop thinking how small he is. That bright red thread running through the blues across his back distracts me and I can’t think of anything else.
But he leans over and says something and I see him smile and that’s when I notice them. These two other little boys that flank his right and left. They are in plaid too and this trio of intermingling threads—the blues and browns and reds and grays—it makes my heart swell.
The place is full and we sing praise and we pray together and people tell stories about a man who loved Jesus and other people and those three boys don’t leave each other. It somehow feels wrong to write about how brave grief must be but it is a story we all know. And we stand in line for almost an hour to thread ourselves into this telling and we are drawn deeper in. And when I hug that little boy’s mama I am weaving love.
On the way back to the car I think how odd these traditions are and I wonder about the soul-weary tired I saw etched in the lines of her face. But there was something else too—something stitched together with every hug, every tear, every word, every touch…
Oh, how we need each other.
Later, I sit out on the deck with my husband in the dark. It’s 65 degrees at 9 O’clock at night in the middle of January and we need to sit where there are no walls. He lights a candle and the shadows of trees make etchings on the side of our house. He talks about things pressing on his heart but all I can think about is the beauty of the way life threads us together, woven stitches of love crisscrossing through our hearts.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him.
Today, over at The High Calling, we continue our book club discussion of Karen Swallow Prior's Booked. Will you join us?