"…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 8:11)
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Breath of Life

Earlier this week, I discovered an unusual video that my husband left behind. He was testing a new camera gimbal and recorded jerky footage of our living room furniture as he fiddled with various settings on the remote control. I watched eagerly, waiting for a greater narrative to unfold, but Craig had switched off the camera after less than a minute. Others may have found the footage unremarkable. To me, it was priceless.

I could hear him breathing.

The sound of Craig’s breath gripped my heart as if he were reading me a love poem. Every inhalation, every sigh, had been imprinted in my soul during our 14 years of marriage. I recognized the slight huff as he lifted the camera and the way his breathing changed when he was problem-solving. I listened to the air flow from his lungs as he went about his work and pictured the way he pursed his lips while deep in thought. The tears came.

We take so much for granted with the people we hold dear. Their mannerisms. Their gait. The sound and cadence of their voice. We tacitly cherish those qualities, yet rarely give them any thought. For 14 years, I laid next to my husband in bed at night, quietly comforted by the sound of his breathing. Those times that he would snore, I preferred to forego sleep rather than have him move to the couch. Even when we fought, I wanted him near. Next to me. Sighing deeply.

In the creation story, God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the very breath of life. Whereas God had spoken the rest of creation into existence, man was different. God’s divine breath made Adam a living being.

I could hear the breath of life in that video—the wind from Craig’s mouth carrying the melody of his spirit. That haphazard scene of the living room couch reveals how his presence once filled our home, even when no words were spoken. I will listen to it again someday and cherish a sound I hadn’t much considered before. It’s a sound we should never take lightly, as each breath holds the essence of someone we love.

© 2019 Leslie J. Thompson. All rights reserved.

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

JOB 33:4 (ESV)

September 26, 2019   No Comments

As the Day Approaches

I can see the milestone on the near horizon. One year. A whole year. Where I used to count up—one week, one month, six months—now I’ve been counting down. Saturday will be 365 days since Craig passed. One year since my world changed. A year of transition, revelation, deep sorrow, and occasional joy.

One year.

Others have been counting, too. Friends and acquaintances have reached out this past week with words of comfort and concern. “How are you doing with the big day coming up?” “Do you have anything planned that day?” Their questions are rooted in sincerity and deep compassion. Yet, I found myself texting a fellow widow to ask, “Is it normal to want to punch them in the throat?”

I am an ingrate. But, grief is not logical. My friend affirmed my mudpuddle of emotions and shared from her own journey. The end of her message summarized so perfectly my feelings as I watch the days and hours tick by.

“There’s no such thing as an easy answer to these types of questions. If I say I’m doing well, then I’m lying. But, there’s no way for me to succinctly explain to you something you just can’t understand if you haven’t experienced it,” she wrote.

Yes. That.

Truthfully, though, I am doing well. Last week was marked by two days of crippling grief and brain fog. But, yesterday was brilliant. I watched a friend’s son get baptized. A mid-day video shoot for a long-time client went exceptionally well. In the evening, nearly 20 people gathered at my home for food and fellowship, healing prayer and a time of teaching in God’s Word. The day was a series of successes and cause for celebration. I cried briefly as I said goodnight to my absent husband, but I went to bed grateful. I dare say, I felt content.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

HEBREWS 10:24-25 NIV

Life is a series of mile markers. Some bring great joy—graduations and weddings, new homes, new jobs, new birth. Others mark times of sadness and loss. The death of a parent. The death of a spouse. The death of a dream. But, the journey does not stop at the milestones. They are simply indicators of the profound events that we’ve experienced along the way, and point to the road ahead. They shape our perspective as we look back and look forward while helping us to find our place in the present.

And so, I face the road boldly, and encourage myself with the promises in God’s Word. He gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of despair. Yes, this is my temporary home. But, who knows what milestones lie beyond the next hill?

© 2019 Leslie J. Thompson. All rights reserved.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

ISAIAH 61:1-3 NIV

July 1, 2019   2 Comments