Life - and death - are PRECIOUS.

Tonight I returned home from a 14-hour day at the hospital to find this lovely vase of purple tulips waiting for me. A flash of beauty and color after a long day mixed with joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, light moments and difficult ones.
Immediately after noticing their beauty I thought, "Life! These purple petals represent LIFE!"
What a harsh contrast to the last scene imprinted on my mind's eye in the hospital.

After the final visitor left the room, Mariah asked for the immediate family to gather around Tyler.
Grandparents, parents, siblings ... all stood together, gazing on the face and body of the young man they love with passion, intensity, and loyalty ... 
knowing that soon, and very soon, he is going to see his KING.
The room was silent.
I took several photos to capture the moment, set the camera on the bed, and tiptoed out of the room.
As soon as the door closed behind me, I fell apart.
What a precious moment I had just witnessed, and what a privilege to have been allowed to do so.

The day was long. It started with a group of brothers and sisters praying together in the early hours of the morning, tears flowing freely, imploring the Lord for mercy, comfort, healing, and abundant grace for every hour of the day. 
Hugs, conversations, laughter, card games, coffee runs, babysitting, visitors, communication, service, encouragement, listening, comfort ... all of these things filled the rest of the hours. 
It was a long day - and a fantastic day.

Not one hour passed without the body of Christ living out the commands of Scripture. And every time, it was done with JOY. Selflessness. Sincerity. Compassion.
I am not sure I was still for more than seven-minute stretches today, but amidst the running, the moving, the talking, and the mediating - I was always observing - and I am so grateful the Lord made it possible because I saw Scripture in ACTION!

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  II Corinthians 1:3,4

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:13

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

I'm not sure I have ever been so proud to be called "Sister."
Every need was met - every desire fulfilled - every smile returned - every tear wiped away.

And now, my sweet Mariah lies next to her husband in the quiet of the night ... holding him, loving him, praying for him, and remembering every precious moment they have spent together because they both love a good God who drew them together with purpose, "for such a time as this."

Only the Lord knows the hour when He will bid Tyler, "Come, child. It is time to come HOME." Whether it is an hour, a day, or a week we stand confident in this truth ...
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of this day. You were glorified - You were praised - trusted - sought - and FOUND. No one can deny Your presence when they enter Tyler's room, welcomed by the sparkling eyes found in the sweet, serene face of Mariah. She weeps over her husband in confidence. Her tears represent the sorrow of a wife saying goodbye to the man she loves ... and her confidence is a result of her unwavering faith in a God who always fulfills His promises. Lord - You are GOOD. 
It's who You are ... and we love You.

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