the sky this morning was a beautiful sight: puffy gray clouds with the brightest sunbeams straining through them. to me, it was God's reminder of His presence in the midst of sorrow.
i drove to work early so that i could leave by 9 and make it down for salimah's dad's funeral. as my car sped down the highway, i saw a lone hawk circling in the sky. the scripture that kept coming to my mind was isaiah 40:31:
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
God reminded me in that moment that those words apply not only in this life here and now, but forevermore. daryl harvey was in a physically weakened state. his body was wracked with the effects of severe diabetes. his body had betrayed him for too long, and even walking had become more and more difficult over time. his passing was sudden and yet something we had expected for awhile now....and, as always, it happened much too soon.
in God's presence, daryl's strength has been perfectly renewed. his body is no longer held back by the devastating impact of illness or pain. he is whole; the years in which he lacked health have been restored to him, and then some. he IS finally home. my heart is filled with so much joy in knowing that.
it was, to say the least, a hard day. lots of tears, moments of prayerful sorrow, and holding this family whose sadness will travel with them for a long time. but even in the midst of grief, we had pockets of such laughter. what i love about salimah and her sisters is that there is always room to find hilarity, even in the midst of seriousness. some of my favorites from the day:
- the limo driver whose speech was unintelligible but whose cell phone ringer was james brown's 'i feel good' (and it went off during the ceremony at quantico....imagine james brown's 'HEY! i feel good....' echoing across a lovely green meadow. priceless.)
- one of the pastors who, while praying, referred to those gathered as 'mens and womens.' none of us could quite get over that one.
- while standing beside the casket right before the service, through tears, salimah plainly announced, 'these flowers smell like feet.'
- the woman reading the obituary who, when confronted with the fact that she didn't know the word 'eclectic' decided to change it to 'excellent' and managed, without fail, to mispronounce several people's names - salimah's mother's and sister's included.
it just goes to show you....despite the occasion, you just need some levity sometimes. it keeps you sane, i think.
so, it is with heavy heart and weary eyes that i say goodbye to salimah's daddy, daryl harvey. i thank God for you, daryl, and most of all, i thank God that salimah's heart and yours were at peace with one another. she loved you deeply, profoundly...both despite and because of who you are. and because of that, i love you, too. rest in peace, daryl...renewed and strong and finally where you are meant to be.