Receive. This is a hard one today. At nine o’clock tonight, we arrived at Nathan’s grandparents house, received as we have been so many times before. But instead of the pure joy that receives us, we were received into a mix of joy that we are here, gratitude that we could come, and grief.
Tonight I would have liked to take a picture of our six year old curled up in her great-grandpa’s chair, where she has been received by him all her life. I would have a picture of Granny holding onto Nathan, or the arms of our Aunt that wrapped around me so tight.
In a season of thankfulness, I suppose we should think about receive in terms of the blessings we receive but I find myself being oddly thankful that we can receive each others grief and heartbreak and sorrow. To know that someone else is there to receive us when we are road weary and grief filled is a powerful gift.
One of the girls as we got out of the car, quietly said, “I am ready to be sad now”. Four men have defined their young lives: their daddy, their two grandfathers and Papa Llyod. I am glad that there was a house full of people to receive her sadness and to sit with her. I am glad that those same people will be there tomorrow to make her giggle and remind her she is blessed.
We cannot just receive what is commonly defined as blessing. God has prepared us with tear ducts and strong spirits to also receive sadness and sorrow and to find a gift. The blessings of a life remembered, the joy of knowing you have a place in a family that is easy to take for granted on the “blessed days”, the certain knowledge that God’s love is there to receive us when our time here on earth is over.
When we are willing to receive the fullness of life, not just the blessings but when we are willing to risk loving someone so much that it hurts when they are gone, we begin to have a small glimpse of how truly loved we are by the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Receive life in its fullness and be blessed.