Last week’s prayer on the Everlasting Legacy of Love originated from observing George the Pelican and witnessing his return to the place he received love and acceptance from our neighbor Mertz. Mertz’s legacy of love touched many on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I appreciated all the comments on Facebook. In particular, an email from Michael Craig, one of my dearest friends and wonderful collaborative divorce attorney, struck me in the heart. So much so Michael’s remarks became the basis of this week’s sequel prayer and the title of this prayer.
Dear Jack, A marvelous prayer and a wonderful illustration of love and devotion. This legacy of love is truly something to hand down to our children and our children’s children. Sadly, it also reflects the nature of a widow or widower after a half-century with a devoted spouse. Old habits and committed love die hard. Many of my continual habits of affection with Betty, even during this last chapter of her life in a cloud of Alzheimer’s, will continue by virtue of habit after she is gone. And so there is a bit of George in each of us. A habit that is not so much a longing as one that retains a fond memory.
In this long time of the Long Goodbye, Michael has made sure that as there is less and less of Betty there is more and more of him. More and more of his love. More and more of the Light of God in his service to Betty, his devoted wife, and bride.
Michael observed that soon Betty will be gone to make her final journey to Heaven to join the God she faithfully served in her ministry at The Foundry United Methodist Church in Jersey Village, Texas. But like George, Michael knows that as long as his heartbeats and his mind can remember, he will return each day to the place where Betty was with him and where he received her devoted love and care.
Whether due to Alzheimer’s, cancer, a tragic accident, the Coronavirus or just old age, the truth Michael speaks is that there is a George the Pelican in all of us. The person who is left behind. The one who remembers. The one who returns to the place love was received. The place where love was given. To feed on glorious memory and the innumerable blessings God bestowed on the one left behind through the kindness, care, and love of the departed. God has spoken to us in Scripture about what happens to those left behind and what fills the void and the darkness in the wake of the death of loved ones.
Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.
Let us pray together.
God, we thank You for Michael Craig’s enlightened words that there is a bit of George the Pelican in all of us.
God, we thank You for Betty and all others who have lived, served, and loved in Your name. God, when we sit in the pain of loss and in the darkness of grief, please give us peace and light.
God, please embrace the bit of George in all of us with Your never-failing love, comfort, and healing. Amen.
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If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to www.BendingAngel.com website.
Photo credit: Parade.com