Last weekend Clint and I had the honor of attending the wedding of two friends—both were in their mid 70’s. Both had been tragically widowed. Roger’s wife lingered for 11 years with Alzheimer’s disease and hadn’t recognized him for ten of those years. Patty’s husband died of pancreatic cancer right before I met her in 2014. She was my next-door neighbor in Prescott, and I remember sitting with her one afternoon as she cried in her loneliness. Fast forward seven years and Clint and I were witness to one of life’s most joyful resurrections: Roger and Patty tied the knot on the deck of their Wisconsin lakeside cottage with their closest family and friends in attendance! Patty walked toward Roger in a blue, summery dress and a crown of small red roses to the song, Everything I Do, I Do for You.
My eyes always well up at weddings, and this one was no different. As I watched, I recalled the quote, “No matter how dark it gets, the sun always rises” and thought about how this applied to both of them. Their sun was rising again last Saturday after all they had been through; what joy there was! Of course the story of resurrection is a motif woven through our Bible; we Christians indeed know that the Son rises after a time of darkness. That is why we can be a people of hope, even when passing through dark nights of the soul.
I know may of you are going through or have recently been through hard times, especially times of grief, so I write to encourage you. Resurrections eventually come, not always quickly and not always in kind. Eventually most bereaved folks find new places to invest their energy—sometimes in new relationships but also in new missions or undertakings. When we flew home from Wisconsin, I tuned into a program on the plane about new, successful restaurants. A trio of women from Oklahoma were featured for starting a successful, healthy pizza restaurant. Each of the women told their stories. One had been widowed, and she turned her energy and love of healthy food into this new venture. The woman glowed as she spoke. Patty too glowed under her crown of roses as I offered the wedding benediction. Have faith and take heart; resurrection is the pattern of life!