Six years ago this morning, life’s effervescence bubbled over. Uncontainable! Full! At last Justin was visiting Enchanted Rock – that great granite dome whose voice he had heard calling since moving here. This morning Justin would make the enchantment of the Rock his own, the culmination of a dream. The joy borne in his voice still echoes in the stream of laughter that met my ear through the phone at that moment. How could I say no to his request? Such a small word, yes, to gift such joy. Such a small word.
Life was bursting, brimming with promise, and that infectious chuckle carried such unadulterated hope. With yes spoken, a journey began. Though unknown to my heart, a dream birthed in a deeper, eternal chamber would soon bear fruit, by way of a door about to open.
Deep roots intertwined in our hearts. Roots nourished by sharing dreams and fears and hopes, by sharing questions and joys and sorrows, by marking milestones. These and more made up our daily sojourn together. A sojourn suddenly severed by an overturned car careening out of control and an irrevocable step into eternity.
So the cherished treasures of Justin’s Enchanted Rock storehouse remain locked, a mystery to my knowledge, if not to my heart, in this land of ‘the seen.’ But the storehouse must contain a life-time. A life-time my heart yearns after . . . a life-time wanting to be clung to . . . a life-time, I believe, will still be shared, someday, on faith’s shore.
For now, I linger, dwelling in a land where nothing seems real. A perpetual Shadowlands. Where life happens, but isn’t lived. Waiting. Wondering. Visited by questions without answers. But, mostly, just lingering. Weren’t my last words hurry home? Would I have taken them back, had I known?
Would I have withheld my yes?
I dare not answer those questions, nor linger where their echoing voices reverberate throughout my being. Such questions should never be birthed, never see the light of day, for the answer varies with each beat of my heart.
I can only reflect, Justin, on your truth, on your joy. And looking back at the words first written on this page, I rejoice at a depth of truth I now see revealed there. How truly you were enchanted by ‘the Rock.’ Your life oozed His essence, your commitment to walk the journey He called you to in faithfulness and joy, your longing to be one with His heart. The depth of your desire to be in His presence, to see Him face-to-face, lay visible in the trail of tears which that longing birthed just days before this final segment of your journey home began. He heard your heart. He heard my words. And He answered. Brimming with hopes, with dreams, with longings, each seasoned with vibrant joy, the door opened and, hurriedly, taking His hand, you stepped through, borne into newness of life. O, blessed day of birth for you!
There is this truth I know in my head; this truth I know in my heart; yet, in that hidden place where truth truly resides, it has not yet taken up permanent residence. Not in the night-season. Though it tries in the day, the night-season has not yet found Truth its champion. But I can endeavor, today, to live faithful to its promise. So now, at this moment, six years after you walked through that door your heart yearned for, I will let my heart cry . . . Happy Birthday, Justin! And if you should see a lingering tear, traveling unchecked, to my heart, see in it a promise of the tears of joy we will yet share, together, when life is no longer shadow, when the unseen bursts forth into blessed reality, and know, I love you, still.
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As one more recently bereaved i feel for you, and pray for you. Your beautiful article will move many, and help healing tears to flow in those whose grief is stuck at a point where there is no peace about their loss, only sorrow and regret and often guilt. Grief is not for ever - love is. God Bless Irene
DeAnna, Thank you for sharing this heartfelt article. It makes me want to say, "I love you, still" to each special one I love. Blessings, Rita