The music of Gene’s life did not end at his death. Though we might be able to name the day and maybe even the hour of Gene’s death, he never knew that moment. He simply moved from this life to a new life. The music hasn’t ended, the key has changed. And that means we must learn to listen in a new way. We must listen with the ears of our hearts.
Richard knew a “secret, a very simple secret.” He knew and trusted that “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, chapter xxi) That is the secret that sustains us through our losses and gives hope on this day. It is the secret that makes life beautiful, relationships meaningful, and conversations extraordinary. It is the secret that lifts us up to see further and cleanses our eyes to see more clearly. It is the secret all our sacred scriptures try to teach us. It is a secret open to everyone and hidden from no one, but only those with eyes to see will understand it.
Today we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23). Today the familiarity, poetry, and beauty of the 23rd psalm have a different tone. The shadow is dark and the valley is long and deep. I will not mislead you by denying that reality or letting platitudes and sentimentalities echo off the valley’s walls. That doesn’t help anyone. The valley is real and the shadow is here. That does not mean, however, that you and I are without hope. Let me be clear about this. That does not mean we are without hope.
I need you to trust me and work with me on what I am going to say next. It won’t seem true but it is. Brian’s love, his life, and his presence are as real today as before he died. I know it doesn’t look like that and it sure doesn’t feel like that. I know that your grief and tears are saying that it’s not true. But I promise you it is. It is the gospel truth.
"The Sun of Righteousness is gloriously risen, giving light to those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death." John 6:37-40 Romans 8:14-19, 34-35, 37-39 Wisdom 3:1-5,9 How poignant is it that today we do not sing and…