“This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” – Ps. 118:24

I sat at the edge of the bed next to Dad counting the seconds: one, two, three…twenty, and still not a breath from Dad. My heart sank. Will he breathe again?

I began to wonder; does our God, the God of love and compassion, not feel the pain that Dad is experiencing? Is He not moved to take Dad into His arms and comfort him?

In my despair, for a brief second, I saw an image of God the Father anxiously pacing back and forth before a huge mansion. Every now and then, He would look out into the far distance. When He saw Dad in his wheelchair moving toward His direction, He called in excitement, “Jesus, Jesus, hurry up! Your brother is coming! Go get the garment we’ve been preparing for him and tell all your other siblings to prepare a feast to celebrate his return.”

When Dad finally gasped for air, it was his last breath.

This image not only prepared me for Dad’s passing but has also helped me to respond to the many invitations following his death.

I have been living in darkness these past two weeks. In the process of responding to the invitation to follow Christ more closely after Dad died, I have acted unlovingly toward a very dear friend, and I might have caused my friend great pain. I haven’t been liking myself very much because of my behaviors, and I have not experienced the joy of Easter.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. –Psalm 118:24

The above acclamation, repeated every day this week, has invited me to revisit this image of God the Father anxiously waiting for Dad. I’m reminded that no matter what state I’m in, there’s love and joy waiting for me at the other end of my journey. I just need to keep walking even when it hurts and I don’t want to continue.

Thank you, God, for loving me even when I don’t deserve it. Remind me that every day, every moment, and every experience belong to us and that I’m not alone. Help me to hold fast to the hope that you are anxiously waiting for me and can’t wait till the day we reunite as one.