September 21, 2010, Tuesday ~ Following, the Worship Arts Conference in Missoula, Rebecca and I planned a get-together-again. We drove up Hwy 12 towards Lolo Pass to a place where her husband's ashes were buried following his death four years ago, Thanksgiving Weekend. Dark clouds brooded above us. The place is called “Dustin’s Rock” by Rebecca and her five teenagers.
Loss is a part of each person’s life on the planet. No one is exempt. We lose family members and friends, we lose unborn children and just born children, we lose sons and daughters, we lose sisters and brothers, we lose neighbors and pastors…and we lose things that are of much smaller consequence. For those of us sharing in Protestant Christian Faith, we have the hope of seeing our loved ones again. And as grateful as we are for that eternal hope, the present pain often seems overwhelming and consuming. Some days it is just impossible not to get lost in the pain. And then GOD moves in deep compassion for our loss and sends a friend, a sister, a brother, a pastor, a neighbor, or a child with a gift, a word, a phone call, a bouquet of roses, a card, or an invitation…something that gives us a moment of hope to move forward. Often in moments of awkward humanity we feel uncertain about what to say or what to do when someone loses someone…although words may be important …nothing will be remembered as much as a simple kindness or taking the time to walk along side them through their grief. Each person processes grief differently and it is important to extend grace to our differences, especially in grief.
While at “Dustin’s Rock” in the middle of the forest somewhere outside of Lolo we prayed, we waited, we watched, we listened, we stood, we poured Holy Anointing Oil, we talked, and we trusted GOD to meet us and bring more healing, more hope, more understanding, and more joy.
On the way down the mountain, the clouds parted, the blue sky appeared. I asked Rebecca to stop at a thrift store on the way back to her home to see if we could locate any more Decanters for the States of America Holy Anointing Oil project as they have all been purchased in Montana, so she graciously accommodated my request. Once inside the LORD was quite clear about Rebecca having a new outfit…it took some time to convince her and we had to go back a second time to get the hat. She called them her “Ashes for beauty, Mourning into Joy” dancing clothes. It was the best of times.
Then I was privileged to share a meal with her family and it was wonderful to see the children again…now as teenagers. There are times when one’s spirit is just so honored to know someone who has overcome so much and with gracious humility continues to offer thanksgiving to God. And Rebecca is one of those women, strong in faith, humble in spirit, generous in kindness, with wisdom on her lips.