Two years ago I boarded an airplane – a red-eye flight to be exact – in order to get to Detroit in time to see my father-in-law one last time. His life had inspired me, his faith had propelled me, and his trust had constrained me to love in sacrificial ways. Today as I reflect, I am transported back to those precious final moments together. Remembering…
In a tear. Through a tear. With a tear… Jesus shows the way.
In the waning moments of the morning on May 5, Donald William Cargo showed us the way.
His four children, his precious wife… and a few others were gathered at his bedside. His body, unable to keep up with the ongoing physical battle was shutting down. And we were there to march with him to the entrance gate. To the narrow hallway where only those with tickets can go further. We were there to listen and learn and wonder and pray and sing and cry and read and assure…
We wondered, sometimes out loud, just how much Dad heard or understood what was going on. But several times during the hours together; most often after a wonderful story, or a season of laughter, or a pause to cry… a tear would swell in the corner of his eye. Just a tear.
In that tear… love. In that tear… pain. In that tear… commitment. In that tear… a blessing. In that tear… courage. In that tear… power.
In that tear… a secret word to Eunice.
In that tear… a powerful legacy dispatched to Bruce, Liz, Mary and Bill.
In that tear… embrace to those who were family without genetics.
In that tear… a call to arms for his grands and greats.
In that tear… a fist in the face of the evil one.
In that tear… a thank you.
In that tear… goodbye.
If Jesus, then why not Don. He said so much with a tear.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:1-4
And so… at 12:50 P.M. on May 5… Don’s tears stopped, even as ours continue.
In a tear… we find our courage, our promise, our companionship… and our commissioning.
Until He wipes them away, until death is no more, until the mourning stops, until the pain subsides…
In a tear.