A few days after sharing Brett's story, it dawned on me that at some point I would write another blog post. Eventually, a spark of an idea would creep into my brain and I would sit in front of my computer, ready to click "new post." I knew it would happen at some point. But that point seemed so distant.
In the mean time, I simply desired to sit quietly and keep that space devoted to our friend until the Lord prompted me to write again.
Today was Brett's memorial service. Brett loved people with a passion. He loved widely and deeply (and hilariously) and touched so many lives that the sanctuary was filled with hundreds of people. The sound that most often filled that room was laughter which was, I'm sure, how Brett would have orchestrated the whole thing.
After a week and a half of walking through grief and peace and joy and hope as a family, one aspect of the Lord's provision has been made consistently clear.
The provision? His people.
My son came home from our church's high school missions trip last week with a t-shirt that says, "Love God. Love people." It struck me that this was exactly how Brett lived. Because he loved God and loved people with a contagious vivacity, he connected with hundreds from all over the world.
He was particularly connected with a number of local churches. In the last several days, I've been amazed to hear of the number of people that were connected with Brett.
I'd fall into conversation with a friend from one church body and find that they had connections with another who in turn knew someone who knew someone . . . . It has happened so many times, that I've been in delighted awe over the ways the Lord keeps His family together.
As I embraced old friends and new friends at the service today, I quickly realized that I was seeing faces from many congregations. I saw faces from at least five congregations that our family alone has been a part of.
And, although there were tears in our eyes, it was a taste of heaven. It was a reminder that this was the main thing. This loving God and loving people business -- it's the most important, the most fulfilling, the most joy-filled mission that a human being could ever embark upon.
It's what we're created for and, therefore, the only thing that brings true and lasting satisfaction.
One day we will gather in ultimate, everlasting praise and worship. We will recognize every single face that we encounter, and each visage will bring joy and delight. We will no longer be from a variety of congregations with semi-connected stories. We will be family. Perfect, whole, family in the presence of our Father.
Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be! But guess what? In the mean time, we still have those things. We have God. We have people.
And, because we were made in God's image, we have the capacity to love them wildly. So let's do it.