Can I share something with you? In fact, I could barely keep from the keyboard yesterday in telling you as it was such a personal testimony. I wasn't holding out on you, just plain ran out of time. You know how it is.
I witnessed the most beautiful thing on Sunday. Before I share, I must tell you about these women. Their friendship is such a blessing. They both became widows within a year or two of each other. I have watched these ladies walk through this experience together. God has been so gracious to give them each other for added comfort and gracious to me for allowing me the opportunity to witness it.
Have you ever had a friend who walked alongside you during an unexpectedly shared experience? This kind of relationship bypasses the normal paths that often lead to friendship. It's the bond that's only built by shared hardship and forged through fire.
And when the shared experience involves death?
I love my husband so much. He's my best friend. To even think of experiencing their loss brings me physical pain. And yet, to watch these women rely completely on God to get them through this has personally been such an encouragement. It's the peace that passes understanding. It definitely passes my understanding. It doesn't mean there aren't tears. It's the hope in something more.
Which brings me to Sunday. I'm thanking God now for allowing me the opportunity to be a witness to their joy and hope. Sunday was a fantastic sermon, communion and reflection, and last of all - awesome worship through song.
The closing song began. It was I'll Fly Away. Old hymn, right? One that tickled us as children in straight-backed pews. We would flap our wings and giggle. I can still hear the older gentleman in the choir with the booming bass sing the echoing part "I'll fly away" -that tickled us too. And then we would add onto the verse lines like "into the blue green yonder.". We were kids. We thought we were clever. So all this came to mind at the beginning of this song.
Then I looked at my two ladies standing up front together. It wasn't just an old hymn for them. It was their hope and joy. I saw them look at each other with understanding. And then they held hands and turned their eyes upward. Although I couldn't hear them from where I was sitting, I knew that they were singing at the top of their lungs - whether it be in voice or in spirit. And it was truth. Is truth.
Oh, how glad and happy when we meet
I’ll fly away
No more cold iron shackles on my feet
I’ll fly away.
One day we will be reunited. Not only with believers passed, but with our Savior. I pray that I understand this song and firmly live with its message in mind. It's not just an old hymn. As believers, it is our hope and joy.
I'll fly away, oh Glory
I'll fly away in the morning
When I die Hallelujah, by and by
I'll fly away.