My friend Sonya wore shiny silver shoes.
My friend Drason looked sharp in a purple bow tie.
Guests entered the sanctuary through a rainbow of bright-colored balloons, and nobody who was in the know wore black. A banner above the door welcomed friends with this scripture, but even I wasn’t prepared for what happened when the worship music began …
Scanning the crowd, I saw tissue packs being passed, chins resting on chests, grief gripping hard as the service opened in prayer. When the music began, I saw guests murmuring lyrics with blank stares, hymn words choking in the throat.
A chorus of praise. No funeral dirge here.
And my friend, my soul friend, a mama bereft, a woman undone, did a miraculous thing.
Bless the Lord O My Soul … and she was on her feet, arms raised toward heaven.
She was praising her God, her rock, the One who knew, too, of losing a son.
She preached more gospel to me in that moment than I have ever heard in a sermon.
And I have no doubt that the prayers of the faithful are what buoyed her up then, lifted in the way that only prayer can do. Those same prayers gave Drason the strength to walk jelly-kneed to that podium and pay tribute to his boy, his long-awaited son, in the way that only a father could do.
I saw amazing things on Saturday, and like one who has witnessed burning bush or leper healed, I cannot shut my mouth. So I’m here to say: this site was created not just for one day.
Though there are a million miraculous moments from that celebration that I hope to write about here, our tribute to his life did not cease when his body was buried. His legacy will reach further than just that one day … you can look in his mama’s eyes and see that.
Today, with all of the busy of the last week over and done with, those eyes awaken to a new day that, like all days for awhile, will be a hard one.
And that’s where you come in.
If you really want to Celebrate Bane, I want you to speak up.
If you were there on Saturday, I want you to name something that blessed your soul from that service. If you weren’t there but wanted to be, I want you to say so. If you haven’t even met this family but will commit to pray for them in this difficult time, I want you to say that — and mean it — out loud.
In the Comments section below.
Sonya and Drason are not able — just yet — to come here and read, but when they do, I want them to see a long scroll of well wishes waiting for them. I want them to know that we didn’t stop our celebration when the last song had played. I want them to know that we. will. not. forget.
Sign your name or stay anonymous, but post them a comment. Then Facebook this or Tweet it or call your husband over from the kitchen and have him post one, too.
Let’s love on this family through our words, and let’s keep loving on them through prayers.
I saw my friend praise God in the midst of the unimaginable … and with our prayers and our words this family can continue to do so.