“I don’t want to be remembering Graham, I want to still be knowing him.” – Ken Hatcher, a friend
At first glance it’s just a leaf. But a second tells a heart-rending story.
This leaf —
still holding on to one more day of normalcy —
fights against change of a painful sort. Sandy and I, too, wish we had had a different outcome three Decembers ago, but God had another story to write with our son. And so we faced the inevitable, released our grip, and
Mary and Joseph felt the icy chill of their own ‘December’ all those yuletides ago. Aged Simeon prophesied to the Nativity couple, when their newborn was a scant eight days young, that their innocent bundle would grow up to cleave the young mother’s heart in half.
Nothing about this young couple would ever be on the scale of normal. From nuptials to cradle to grave they braced against the arctic cold of constant opposition. No one knew their private pain, which was pain enough. All Mary could do was ponder it in her heart.
Our son wasn’t the Son of God. He didn’t lead a sinless life, heal paralytics, or save the people from their sin. He wasn’t Immanuel or Savior or King. He struggled with himself, with his demons, and with the world, and he died, another December ago, having lost his battle with addiction.
But Graham knew Immanuel.
He was held by the Savior.
And he was shown mercy by a King who dispenses it lavishly and undeservedly.
So…we brave through yet another imperfectly perfect December, plough onward, face forward, appeal upward, hoping someone would just mention him and not forget him, reach for grace yet again that reels in joy as it whispers past, and deliberately remember all the good. With Graham, thank Jesus, there was an awful lot of that.
And…we look at the bigger picture, the one where we are still knowing Graham…because he is home, after all.
Even in this – another December – God is still good.