There are so many unanswered questions, so many wonderings, so many tearful moments. It was a beautiful day, but in a tragic sort of way. It was a wonderful time to surround a hurting family with the love of their broader church family. So many from our congregation came together to serve. My wife and I were asked to help lead the worship time, and we willingly agreed. The parents had selected songs that were especially meaningful for their family, including classics like Amazing Grace and Jesus Loves Me. They also included a more contemporary choice: Rend Collective's song, My Lighthouse.
If you aren't familiar with the song, here's the video. (I love these guys--their heart and passion come through in every song they sing...)
Now, I have heard this song on the radio so often over the past few years, I know it well. And I love it--such a great call of faith to follow where God is leading.
Today, this song changed for me. We met last night with our praise band from church to run through things, and we had to learn this one, because we've never played it for worship before. All went well; we were ready to lead it this morning at the funeral service.
Right before we were going to sing it with the assembled congregation, our pastor shared a story with us. This song was one of the little girl's favorites. And her parents sang it to her in the hospital while they were waiting, while they were praying over her, hoping for a miraculous healing. And they asked us to lead it at the service.
Suddenly, these lyrics took on a whole new meaning for me, deeper and richer than I had ever heard in them before, though I'm sure I've heard this song a hundred times.
Here are those words we sang. I ask that you read them through the eyes of a young parent, grieving the death of a child gone far too soon...
In my wrestling and in my doubtsIn my failures You won't walk outYour great love will lead me throughYou are the peace in my troubled seaYou are the peace in my troubled seaIn the silence You won't let goIn the questions Your truth will holdYour great love will lead me throughYou are the peace in my troubled seaYou are the peace in my troubled seaMy lighthouseMy lighthouseShining in the darkness I will follow YouMy lighthouseMy lighthouseI will trust the promiseYou will carry me safe to shoreSafe to shoreI won't fear what tomorrow bringsWith each morning I'll rise and singMy God's love will lead me throughYou are the peace in my troubled seaYou are the peace in my troubled sea
Fire before us You're the brightestYou will lead us through the storms
This song has become for me a song of lament and anguish, and yet a cry of faith. It is the kind of song that can be sung with fear, and doubt, and even anger, ever yet knowing that God is real enough, and big enough, and loving enough to care, even though we can't perhaps see it in the current darkness. It is a song of the sort Israel could have sung in the wilderness wanderings--trusting the pillar of fire ("Fire before us, You're the brightest") to lead them through the darkness. It has become a song that I will, I think, always bring back a specific moment and memory for me: this time of grief and questioning, trusting even when there are no answers.
I felt it was an honor and a privilege to help lead this worship time at the funeral service.
Questions and struggles remain, but I know that God is good. We may be lamenting the loss of this little one, but I also know that He holds us in the palm of His hand, and that He loves us through the lament.
|Image by Andi Pope [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]|