Songs for their son

Last night I went to a home across the train tracks of Leucadia.  Tim, whose house we had gathered in,  shared a great conversation with me about Montana and Wyoming Yellowstone National park.  I was born and raised in the Big sky country, so the images in his photo album took me back to a place of wonderment and awe.  It would amaze you how close you could get to a grizzly bear before you were mauled.

I soon forgot that I was really a stranger  once I was made welcome.

We all gathered into the living room.  I added a bit more hot coffee to my luke warm cup as it cooled with passing conversation and neglect of sips before taking my seat near the back.  The back of my chair was pressed up against the the plush, rugged-wood dinning room table, that is, until myself and 3 other men had to pick up and shuffle it closer to the wall to add another row of chairs behind me.

In the living room people sat patiently while others took seats and talked amongst themselves.  The 3 musicians patiently sat fine tuning their instruments in front of the fire place.  Our chatter was interrupted by a silence that swept the room.  Tim, the surfer, made a little intro into our evening.  And said a prayer.

The 3 musicians were all family–father, mother, and son.  Everyone in the room, save me, knew the family  and had a close connection to their son and brother, Rocky, who had passed.  I listened to their stories and the cruel and shocking reality a father and mother see as they out live their child’s life.  Rocky was from what I gathered in his 30’s and had died of a Brain tumor.  His short life seemed richly lived, with a whole lot of life packed into his few years.  His ripple in the pond of life seemed to have come from a very big splash.  And it went out to effect many.

I listened as his father talked about the circumstances with God and how he struggled to make sense of it all, to understand Why?  It was as if God was asking him “how can you explain the wind, how can you understand what makes you who you are, do you understand some of these simple things?  Then how are you going to understand, this thing that it so significant?”  These aren’t things we can understand.

It reminds me of the death of my father’s mother, how she had died when my father was around 24 years old, if my memory suits me.  My dad lost his faith in God. He had thought, “If God was a loving God, then, why would he allow such a wonderful woman to be taken in such a horrible way?”  It took my dad some time before he realized that things  don’t seem to make sense to us.  We can’t understand them; we can’t understand simple things… how can we understand something so significant and of such value?  The things we can’t see… are the things of God.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

-John 3:16-21 (the message)

I watched a father play on a guitar that was his son’s, who is now with Jesus.  And a mother explain how she saw her son in a dream–standing across a river saying… keep coming mom, I’m here.  And how a hug in a dream seemed to be oh so real.  I listened to a younger sibling sing songs about how much his older brother had affected the world.

I couldn’t help but feel human.  The stories of the connection and his death made us all feel more real, more… alive.  Though a person’s body dies, the love for them lives on.  The spirit is not temporary like this shell of a body, which once we are absent from… well… you’ll see.  My eyes slowly leaked, so I slyly pushed the tears away from the sides of my cheeks and listened.

“For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” -2 Corinthians 5: 4-10

That night I was blessed by a family and friends that was forever moved by their Rocky.