Friday, July 13, 2012

10,000 Reasons

This morning, Chris and I attended the funeral of a man we have known since college. His wife Shelley and I are friends, living in the same dorm together our freshman year, and Sam lived across the street in another dorm. 

Today, we paid respects to Sam and his family by participating in what had to be one of the most beautiful services I have ever attended. I was touched by the many images of Sam and his kids, his family, Sam and Shelley. I was touched by the show of emotion and faith that was demonstrated through the choir, pastor, friends and family. The music was inspiring, uplifting, even. I hadn't seen Sam or Shelley in some time - life, kids, jobs, day to day living - have preoccupied our lives since our college days. Still, you never expect someone you know - someone so young - to be here today and gone tomorrow. Just like that. 

And sad as it was, and as hard as it was to hear Sam's cousin, father and wife speak of him and his life as well as his passing, I find myself reflecting on what was said during his service & the message of hopefulness that permeated it. The song "10,000 Reasons," which I have played so many times on the radio and which was sung this morning, now takes on a whole new, deeper meaning. 

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

I wish I could communicate my wish for Shelley, but I can't. I'll be honest when I say I do not know how I would cope if I had experienced the pain she has experienced. I cannot fathom going through what she, Sam and her kids have had to endure over the last few months. I can, however, promise to pray for her and for her kids. I can promise to hold her close in my heart as she grieves. I can promise to take an extra moment or two to thank God for all I have been given, and I can promise too, as Pastor Jason asked, to live my life as if I will meet Christ again very soon. 

My heart breaks for Shelley, but I truly believe Sam, finally out of pain, now resides in the most glorious place we simply cannot even imagine. Blessings to his family and friends who knew and loved him.

300 balloons were released in honor of Sam today. 
May he rest in peace. 

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Tracey's bookshelf: read

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
My Sister's Keeper
Nineteen Minutes
The Pact
The Tenth Circle
Change of Heart
Keeping Faith
Handle with Care
House Rules
More Than It Hurts You
Amy and Isabelle
A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Widow for One Year
The 158-Pound Marriage
To the Lighthouse
Between the Acts
A Room of One's Own, and Three Guineas
The Help

Tracey English's favorite books »