Easter 2009

My grandmother was full of elegance. If ever there were a second Jackie Kennedy Onassis, my grandmother was she. Her grace and elegant beauty was captivating, even into her late 80’s. I miss her presence. I also miss the sound of her voice. It was a good southern voice, filled with kindness. Little things like sneaking Cokes for us from the garage, playing in the basement, swinging for hours in the backyard and never tiring of it, watching her wink and smile at my grandpa across the room, and stockpiling candy containers throughout the house are obvious ways that Helen cared for us grandkids.

I am so thankful that she married my grandpa and that our relationship is not of blood, but of love.

On Easter Sunday of 2009, she died… and was resurrected.

This is her eulogy.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name…

Creator of the universe, Mighty God, Ancient of Days, Prince of Peace, we need you. We necessarily hallow your name today. You are our everlasting Father. We come to you as children, not knowing tomorrow but asking to be shown what to do and how to carry on. As our Father, you do not desire anything but what is best. Not for us, but for your glory. And so, we hallow – we worship – you.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…

This is what we want more than anything else, Father. We are broken. And we long for you. We long for the right ordering of all that is wrong. We long for hearts in which your will is always done. We long for the coming of your kingdom. We long for heaven.

“If in the integrity of my heart I speak the words, Thy will be done, I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone. It is a prayer of commitment and relinquishment.” As we grieve, we commit. As we don’t understand, we relinquish. Because we trust You.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Lord, we make our Declaration of Dependence in these words. We have needs and you provide. You have made us to need what you give. And you, in this instructive prayer, tell us to ask for it. Teach us to receive whatever you give… especially in the uncertain days ahead.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…

Lord, we repent. We have not loved you. We have not loved each other. We need your grace. We need your forgiveness. Limitations in our schedules. Burdened hearts of guilt and shame. Unkind words in response to hurt. You tell us that the measure of forgiveness we mete out to others is exactly the measure you use with us. Teach us to forgive others like that, Father. Teach us to forgive ourselves like that, Father. Forgive us for wanting an alternative path.

Lead us not into temptation…

Today, Lord, we find ourselves tempted beyond our power to endure. We are weak. We cry out for your help. We are tempted to fear. We are tempted to believe this new reality will be unbearable. We rely on your strength. We are scared to lose Helen’s hugs, and voice, and smiles. You are well acquainted with grief. Teach us to grieve honestly and correctly. Help us to allow others to carry this burden with us.

But deliver us from evil…

You are our only hope.

For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever! Amen.

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