William Lawrence Irvine ~ The Grace Between

William Lawrence Irvine

My precious grandfather died on Monday. 

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
~2 Corinthians 5:6-8
He’s Home …. he is reunited with his bride of sixty years, he’s meeting my babies …. I’m not sad. 
He lived 91 years. 91. 
We spent the weekend prior saying goodbye. 
It was the craziest, laughing-est, teariest, insane weekend of my life. 
I can’t write about it really. It was a gift, a treasure I will hide in my heart for all my days …. glittery moments of tears and memories …. pee-in-your-pants-laugh-so-hard-at-your-sisters-it-makes-you-cry moments …. (how’s that Cuban sandwich btw ….) raw gratitude moments, all the way deep down thankful for legacies of grace and growth and healing, however imperfect they may be.  
We spent a lot of time on memories …. in scrapbooks, in gossamer threads of my childhood, frozen in faded photographs – and my sister wondered aloud about the beginning of their lives together ….
When they married sixty seven years ago, did they know, suspect, hope, that this would be their legacy? Death defeated? Their children and grandchildren gathered around a hospital bed, flush with the knowledge and peace of the gospel, loving him, laughing him Homeward? 
He wasn’t perfect. Neither was she. But oh, grace is sufficient, and their story is my mother and mine is hers and the threads weave together sewn tight with the gospel and a steadfast love. 
Four children. Eight grandchildren. Eight great-grandchildren. As far as numbers go, they aren’t breaking any records. 
But let me tell you – we love Jesus. And we love each other. And for that, for that, I am all raw gratitude. 
I knew it was inevitable, but I cried a little when my dad called me on Monday. At the finality of it. The inescapableness of it. (And not a little over the idea that he is celebrating with the Good Shepherd in whose arms my littles are) …. and there is the moment when those of us left behind come face to face with the consequences of sin. The death and dying of a sinful world … and what do we do? How do we move through present moments with eternal perspective, gospel soaked and grace-fed? 
As always, He has an answer for me …. 
Lord, you have been our dwelling place 
     in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
     from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!
~Psalm 90, ESV
This blog post started out a book, but I really can’t do it justice …. and truly, truly don’t have the words.
 So B-dad, I’m going to miss you, for sure, but oh, how I am rejoicing with you and for you!! Hug those babies for me. 

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