Friday, December 28

When I was a young child, perhaps 7, I attended a church service that affected me deeply. It was around New Year's, and the pastor read aloud the names of those in the congregation who had died the previous year. After he had read the list, a soloist sang a song that almost made me cry with its loveliness and sentiment; I made a point to memorize the song. It is my practice to think of this song at New Year's, and to think of those in my life who have passed on.

This year:

Irene Clancy
Roy Clancy
Madeleine L'Engle, my favorite author
Michael K., husband of my coworker
Pam Cole

Those from years past who are still on my heart:

Irene Pearcy
Gene Ledbetter, the teacher who inspired me to write
Rich Mullins, musician
Pope John Paul II
Frank Capra (yes, I pray for celebrities. Allow me my eccentricities)
Myles Connolly, author
Richard Omondi
Janelle Debris

The Abiding Love, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne:

It singeth low in every heart,
We hear it each and all-
A song of those who answer not,
However we may call;
They throng the silence of the breast,
We see them as of yore-
The kind, the brave, the true, the sweet,
Who walk with us no more.

'Tis hard to take the burden up
When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joy of life,
They softened every frown;
But, Oh, 'tis good to think of them
When we are troubled sore!
Thanks be to God that such have been,
Though they are here no more.

More homelike seems the vast unknown
Since they have entered there;
To follow them were not so hard,
Wherever they may fare;
They cannot be where God is not,
On any sea or shore;
Whate'er betides, Thy love abides,
Our God, forever more.

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