Before me was my father’s casket, perched above the looming hole it would soon be lowered down. Had I not begged Jesus to give him peace and then turn around and think this day would not come? Yes, because I wanted my father’s peace my way. No one wants to realize their parent’s time here has expired and I am no exception. Not this baby girl!
By 11 am, funeral time, it was a sweltering 90 degrees, the air thick with moisture and stagnant. Looking around the graveyard, I wondered why they did not have electrical outlets positioned in strategical locations. Then the funeral home could provide fans or heaters, depending on the season, for the living; who had come to say their final goodbyes. But this was the land of the dead, not the living. And there were no outlets.
The air had not changed since we arrived, it felt like…well…death. No movement and no life. Very appropriate for the land of the dead with its’ dead shells which once housed the holy spirit, dead flowers marking their new homes, and today especially…dead air!
Because of the heat and at the request of my father, Chris, the Pastor, kept his kind words of remembrance short. Chris did not even get a chance to remind those of us living, that one day too; we would be perched over a hole to be lowered into the ground.
You would think the presence of a casket and a life left only to memories would be enough of a reminder anyway!
There was an anticipation stirring within my stomach, as Chris spoke. Was there going to be a small miracle for us to see today, or was it me dreading the ending of the service? I could not tell.
Chris was now coming to the end of his final prayer. And my urge was to jump up and shout just as Jesus did to Lazarus, “Lazarus come out!”
“Houston, Pop, Daddy…please come out!” The words never left my throat.
A gust of wind had interrupted the dead air. And its’ presence was loud, forceful, loving, and strangely cooling. Peace was descending over our sweltering bodies.
This day, just as Jesus had reminded Mary thousands of years before; He was reminding me…
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”
Slowly, I breathed in a deep breath.
“Was this what they heard and felt when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the Upper Room?” I thought to myself.
Another deep breath. My soul was answering, “I am here, Lord.”
Another deep breath.
My grief-stricken urge diminishes and is replaced by hope, peace, and unimaginable love!
Chris had finished his prayer.
The gust continued to blow escorting us away from the land of the dead. And, as we rose to leave, I joked with everyone that the gust of wind was Pop saying it was time for everyone to go home. Even in death, he was still telling us what to do!
But was the gust of wind my dad? Or was it something more…something Holy?
My soul feels it was both.