Another day passed and her mama stood in the living room to tell it as if she had been given a calming drug. She told how she didn’t want to go to the funeral home to see her daughter’s body laying in a casket. But as she talked, it was apparent that something beyond her, Someone beyond Self had taken over.
All my life my grandpa the preacher said, “His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.” Is this what He meant? This is after all how we “glory in our infirmities, so Christ’s power can rest on us,” right? This is how we praise in the storm, through Christ. This is how we know it is well with our souls, when peace like a river overwhelms.
Without His presence, we can’t find it in ourselves to praise, to give thanks in all things. But with Him, by Him, through Him we can. “We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.”
She said seeing her there in that casket almost made it easier to accept it. She said, “I knew Grace was with us. We were in the presence of Grace.” And I knew it too as I watched her.
I remembered experiencing the same Grace when Aunt Evelyn died so unexpectedly. I recall hearing my grandma say she had seen one of everyone in her life put in the earth: mama, daddy, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and even her husband. But she said burying her daughter was by far the worst. Then my grandma stood with dignity and strength held by the Almighty as dirt poured over Aunt Evelyn’s casket. Grandma knew Him too, Grace. She knew Him personally. She spent time with Him. We all witnessed it when His restraint covered her. And when we seemed to need it most, we experienced it too, His hush.
Her mama’s calm showed it like grandma’s, evidence of Grace. It declared to everyone listening and watching how God was present. And not just in that moment, but God’s Spirit in her all the time.
And we wonder how we can know Him. How we can know for sure we know Him and He knows us, that we’re in Him and He’s in us. The one who leaned in to Jesus penned it best, “he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit he has given us” (1 John 3:24, emphasis added). It was the Spirit living inside her that washed over her with peace. It was grace and calm of none other than the Healer. He soothed with His healing balm over the wounds of grief.
And she stood in the darkness of her life, preparing to bury her daughter, pressing in to the deepest place in her soul, worshipping
and praising Jesus for grace.
In memory of Jaime Douthit Haire. Oct 1982-June 24, 2012