This was not the post I expected to write today.
I had something light and fluffy all lined up.
But today is different. Today, I need to be more than fluffy.
Our family lost a piece of itself last weekend. At only age 60, Uncle 2 was taken too soon – at least through my worldly eyes.
But oh – in those 60 years, did he LIVE.
The list of his accomplishments could stretch on and on, but to me he’ll be remembered as the man who welcomed me in (a girl from a small family), and put me at ease in the giant family I married into.
I’ll remember the guy who took the time to get down on my kids’ levels and truly engage them. The last time we were together, he spent hours encouraging them as he played his guitar and they sang and danced.
I’ll remember his talent and his music, and in particular this song, recorded just a short time ago.
I’ll remember the pictures of him being baptized in the Jordan River on the trip of a lifetime just before he passed (read that story here), and I’ll remember that he spent his last days walking in the places where Jesus walked – and that now he’s walking at His side.
I went outside with my kids right after learning of his passing, and at the last minute I grabbed my camera. There’s a great spot behind our home where we like to ‘explore.’ Just past a DNR protected plot there is what we like to call, “The Land of Random.” You can find all kinds of broken and odd things there. A rusty tractor, a giant heap of scrap wood, dirty pipes, and more lay in piles alongside the rocks and moss of the forest back there.
At first glance there’s nothing pretty about it. But upon closer inspection you can find the beauty. I felt the Lord showing it to me through my camera’s viewfinder (you can find the photos below), and was reminded of the verse in Isaiah 61:3 which says, “and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.”
There is beauty in these ashes. Beauty in the form of a life well lived, and well loved, and the faithful heart of a man now at home with his Maker.