Beauty in an Unlikely Place

I attended the memorial service for a friend’s father recently.

He died unexpectedly and suddenly at the young age of 61.

I’ve been to a lot of memorial services. It’s part of my job. But this one will be seared into my memory because of the unexpected beauty I found while being there.

This was an example of finding beauty in an unlikely place.

Three women; the man’s daughter, his widow and his mother were shining examples of Faith, Strength and Joy.

They each exemplified beauty in their own unique way.

I first noticed his widow during one of the congregational songs we sang. It was old hymn called, “How Great Thou Art.”

The song vividly describes the beauty and wonder of God’s creation, then goes into this refrain:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

I watched from across an aisle as she sang the words, “How Great Thou Art.”

It was beautiful and sad.

In the middle of a service I can’t imagine she thought would happen for years she sang about how great God is.

Her grief translated into faith.

Next we heard from the man’s mother. In her early 90s she struggled to stand and take her position at center stage.

Parents aren’t supposed to outlive their children yet here she was with dignity, honor and strength sharing her favorite memories of her now deceased, “good boy.”

She was a picture of strength. You could see the hurt and yet she wanted communicate how proud she was of her son and his entire family.

Finally it was time for his daughter to take the stage. She described his dry and quirky sense of humor. She recalled the last joke she told him the day before he unexpectedly died.

Then came one of the most beautiful scenes I can ever recall in a memorial service. She thanked her dad for teaching her how to choose joy in any situation.

She mentioned how much she hated having to stand up front and share memories of her father. Then through tears she said, “But I still choose joy.”

Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful.

Widow. Mother. Daughter.

Faith. Strength. Joy.

All found where I least expected to find them.

Thanks to my pastor, Brian Dolleman for his post Beauty, Mystery, Wonder which also inspired this post.

3 thoughts on “Beauty in an Unlikely Place

  1. Wow. What a beautiful thing for a child to be able to learn from their parent. It makes me wonder about all of the many situations when she saw her dad choose joy. I wonder what he told her at times when he was upset, but instead he wanted to teach her how to choose joy, so he made a different choice.. its just wonderful <3

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