It was a week ago that I sat huddled under blankets in our den, fire burning, reflecting, praying, weeping. I was missing my Pappy whose birthday would have been the next day. I was longing to sit with my dear college friend who is walking through pain unimaginable as she watches and grieves the impending loss of a loved one. She and I had talked and shared and cried together that day, aching to accept the losses of this life with grace and trust.
I moved into the living room, to our old, antique piano with weathered ivory keys and a few notes that just never can quite be tuned. I needed music, not just mentally and emotionally, I needed to physically interact with it, to let my hands fumble over those keys as the tears fell. I pulled open my battered blue hymnal, the one that’s dog-eared and duct-taped, the one that I played from all through high school, the one I used as I played for church through my teen years. “Lord,” I prayed, “Just show me what I need to hear.” I opened it and let it fall to a page.
I started to play, reading the lyrics as I moved through the piece, unable to sing without my hoarse voice croaking, but then I could hear my daddy’s beautiful tenor voice singing as I played (what a sweet memory). I thought of my pappy, my nanny, of my friend, Kim, whose loss four years ago I still grieve, of my dear one who is tasting this grief in the waiting.
Oh, y’all… God knew what I needed to hear, of that “little while between… severed only till He come.” We’ll see our loves again one day.
I’m not even sure why I share this. I just hope these words bless you today, whatever you’re walking through. Death and darkness and the tomb only pain us for a little while. They pain us with a dark, weary grief, but I’m thankful for the hope that comes beyond.
“Till He come!” – Oh, let the words
Linger on the trembling chords,
Let the “little while” between
In their golden light be seen;
Let us think how heav’n and home
Lie beyond that, “Till He come!”
When the weary ones we love
Enter on that rest above,
When their words of love and cheer
Fall no longer on our ear,
Hush! be ev’ry murmur dumb,
It is only “Till He come!”
Clouds and darkness round us press;
Would we have one sorrow less?
All the sharpness of the cross,
All that tells the world is loss,
Death, and darkness, and the tomb,
Pain us only “Till He come!”
See, the feast of love is spread,
Drink the wine and eat the bread;
Sweet memorials, till the Lord
Call us round His heavenly board,
Some from earth, from glory some,
Severed only “Till He come!”
(~Edward H. Bickersteth)
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