It would have been pretty and sentimental and he would have written something inside it, expressing his love. For a man who liked his own company and kept quiet counsel most of the time, he did use these moments and cards to my sweet advantage. With every year of our 45 he had gotten more intentional.
It’s for certain I missed that yesterday.
I miss it today.
And I hope that in my heart and mind, the thoughts I have about how Paradise works, that my Silent Bob knows I am sending my love to him, glad he is in a place that is… well Paradise. (And you too, my Jake. Always you too.)
But here on earth, while the world seems to be turning in ways that are scary and uncertain, I have been the recipient of tender mercies that humble me.
Every morning, there are two friends, who send me a message that they are praying for me. Every morning since Silent Bob left. Every morning my phone pings their texts. Every morning.
At night another friend sends me thoughts for good sleep, prayers for safekeeping of my anxious mind. “You aren’t a thief,” she says. (This is an interesting suggestion she’s offering from a book she’s reading for my early morning anxiety issues. We both agreed it was a moment of pure Holy Spirit intervention from her to me.)
And then yesterday.
My two sons, friends of my heart, and family of my ancestry and some not, sent texts and emails. The mailman brought cards. Colleagues and acquaintances over decades, took time to wish me Happy birthday. There were over the phone serenades and garden parties compliant with social distancing. There were flamingos dancing in the Houston spring in my front yard and an over-the-garage party that made me reflect in awe just how amazing people can be.
This was done to make me feel loved. To ease my grief. To celebrate.
But the most interesting part of this has nothing to do with me. That is because its evidence of a tenderness that the human spirit can offer that goes beyond self. It is about extending a kind of mercy in ways that minister. This is about the breadth of the human heart. This is people at their best. An imperfect people at their best.
This is in praise of those of you who do this. To me and to many others. Because I know you by name and personality. And I have seen you do these tender mercies to other than me.
More than that, it is an example of what I know my Creator offers me. His, the perfect mercy. And I am thankful. In the way I understand the world, what God has taught me, means there is an assurance of tender mercies, new every morning, for anyone, everyone who needs them.
And don’t we all.