Yesterday was a hard day. 

I had to write my mother's obituary.  I haven't sent it to anyone yet, but it's written.  

I sorted through hundreds of photos to find just the right ones to use for a slideshow being created by a friend for my mom's memorial.  

There were moments yesterday when it felt like I was sleepwalking.  

And then we were reminded in the middle of everything that my son had a band concert in the evening.   So we all went to see him perform--all of us that are left.  

My mom never missed one of Jackson's concerts if she could help it, and her absence was deeply felt.  Still, we piled tiredly into the car, arrived a bit late and had to search for a seat in the gymnasium bleachers. 

When the music began, however, we got lost in it.  We felt joy again.  I heard the notes my son had been practicing for weeks joined together with all of the notes from all of his bandmates---and it was beautiful.  

I recently read an interesting quote from author Brene Brown.  She asserted that it's important for us to "Show up for collective moments of joy and pain so we can actually bear witness to inextricable human connection."  

I got to thinking about the great joy we shared with everyone at the concert, and at the tremendous outpouring of love and support that we have received from friends, family, church members, colleagues...  

When God said, "It is not good for [humans] to be alone," God expressed God's desire for us to be connected to one another, to bear one another's burdens, to share one another's joys.  

I am so grateful this morning for these great gifts of connection in both joy and pain.  And I am grateful beyond measure that God continues to reach out to us in our brokenness in  grace, love, hope and comfort.  

May you feel connected to God and others today in your joy and pain.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you now and always. Amen. 


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