I hitched the four hour ride home with Spencer on Sunday night and worked on Buddy’s tribute movie. We rolled back in on Wednesday night just in time for calling hours and I found JoAnne still at peace. God is so kind and merciful.
I was terrified to look at Buddy’s body, but so thankful to see that it was preserved so beautifully. Another tender mercy and a miracle that in a head-on crash his face was untouched except for a small scratch. He is no longer there but the body that held his soul is a precious thing. Though deeply grieving the peace that the family had is testimony to the love and presence of God.
The funeral service was such a blessing. I sat in a packed room and watched Jake & JoAnne’s investment of love returned many times over as family of all colors filed in and surrounded them. Biological children, adopted children from Ethiopia and Guatemala and foster kids from years gone by shared their grief. God makes the best family. The message that the pastor spoke was all that I had prayed for. My heart leapt with joy when he quoted Psalm 32, the hiding place psalm that had flooded my soul on the plane ride over.
This morning JoAnne said that today marks two weeks of Buddy being gone from earth and she felt like time was bringing her farther away from him. My heart broke for her.
And then I remembered that time is actually bringing us closer.
Life here is but a vapor. We are right behind you, Buddy.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17