Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Night Lights

When stars shine in darkness
Sparkling white ‘gainst the night
It’s a moment often missed
Or oft times shadowed in the mist
Too much light can blur that far off twinkle
Artificial light blinding our eyes
To the natural wonder of created gleaming
Brighter beaming, but an eternity away
At least seeming because we cannot control
What we have not made, though we try
Thinking if we just could, it would be better
Truly made righteous, made just, for us, by us
Or at least me, I cannot speak for others
So many opinions there would be on just
How it should be, what perfect could be
If we could just agree. Maybe that is why
He who made the sky, made all things
All rules, all decisions, for only He knows
The hearts of all, the dreams we all seem
To find in the sky, hidden behind the gleaming
Of our artificial light’s own beaming.

A Cool Breeze and the Calming of a Ripple

A Cool Breeze and the Calming of a Ripple

I looked out my window today and saw God's love
Towering in the budding leaves on the trees above
In the simplest of places, there sat two morning doves
Huddled close together lessening the chill of the breeze
In the warmth of the other they found a comfort impossible to create on their own
The breeze meant to chill, but brought them together as the sun's heat never could.

I looked at the river saw God's love there too.
In the reflection starting back at me and you.
In the strangest of places, two familiar faces, weathered but I recognized us two.
It's hard to imagine all the forces, all the tools that God has to use
In bringing together two souls searching, looking for something, not knowing what
But stumbling into the perfection of each other in the possibilities of us.

I wonder where it will be the next time I see God's love
In our children finding someone, or will it be another dove
Caring in the world is not of the past like we often think but hiding in the small
Kindness does not drought, like the rain that comes and goes or the pain that oft' times flows
Against the toughest odds, though we cannot believe what we do not see
God is working for you and for me, maybe with a cool breeze or with the calming of a ripple.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Debts and Debtors

Debts and Debtors
A sermon delivered by Rev. Peter T. Atkinson
July 28, 2013
at Gordonsville Presbyterian Church, Gordonsville, Virginia
Matthew 6: 5-14 

Let us pray,
Help us to see despite our eyes
Help us to think outside of our minds
Help us to be more than our lives      
For your eyes show the way
            Your mind knows the truth
            Your being is the life.

5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread. 
12     And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial, 
but rescue us from the evil one.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [1] 

For six years at Christchurch, and now for four years at Blue Ridge, at least two times a week we have chapel at school, and since both are Episcopal Schools, the other version of the Lord's Prayer is done, the one where they say trespassers and trespass against, rather than debts and debtors, like Presbyterians do. Do you ever visit other churches? Do you stumble when you get to that part of the service? When we have visitors here, sometimes you hear them start saying trespassers and then catch themselves into confused silence. I've been in Presbyterian Churches where they, trying to show hospitality to unknowing visitors, put in the bulletin "here we say "debts and debtors,"" which always comes across wrong somehow. Like in print the "we" seems to get emphasized, creating again the inhospitable, we're us, and you visitors are them, situation. When I'm at school, what I tend to do  is softly say debts and debtors, which I don't think anyone really notices, until we get to the end and they say forever and ever, I just say forever, you come to notice that when people say, forever and ever they pause, whereas when you just say forever you get right to it. Maybe the extra ever makes you feel like you have enough time to pause or something. I don't know.
Why don't I just go along with the crowd and say, trespassers and ever? Maybe it's the poet in me, who thinks trespassers is too wordy and clunky, especially the second part, the trespass against us. You have this beautiful iambic rhythm of the lines:

Our Father,
Who art in heaven
Hallowed by thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our tresspasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.

 The worst is before football games. Now you have to picture a bunch of fired up, big teenage boys, who have just been given a profanity laced pep talk, taking a knee to recite a prayer. . . in a mixed group of believers and non believers, the words I just spoke, come out and build into a frenzy, then you get to the trespass line, and it just seems to drag, "FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES ARE WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST US." The ex-football player is laughing to himself about these boys barking such solemn words, the preacher is underwhelmed by the irony, and the English teacher in me is dying because just how clunky and ridiculous the cadence of it all sounds. So maybe that's what I hear each time I hear trespassers.
The other possibility for why I usually say debts and debtors against the crowd is more personal. The Fall of 2003 was difficult for me. I had been teaching at Christchurch for 3 years, beginning my fourth. And I have to admit that at that point I wasn't going to another church, because I had to be at an evening chapel service each Sunday Night, in addition to the other two during the week, and at that point I was going right along saying Trespasses with everyone else, going with the flow of it all, like a good Episcopalian would. It was an easy role to play. But that fall many things in my life began to change, some of the seeds were planted that have led me to the very and unimaginably, at least then, different life I live today. That fall my best friend from High School passed in a tragic on the job accident, and then two weeks later one of my students passed. More than just a student, I taught him twice, I was his advisor, I coached him in football, wrestling, and baseball, for all four years he had been there, since he began in 8th grade, and he literally lived next door to me. I lived on dorm, opened my dorm apartment door, and there this kid was. We were close. Halloween night he was in a car accident and died instantly. It was hard. But the reason I tell this story was that he was Presbyterian, and so his funeral was in Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church, in Weems, VA, another church in our very own POJ. I remember sitting there on the first row, as I was a Pall bearer, and having grown up Presbyterian and having gone to a Presbyterian College, feeling at home, and the point was driven home during the Lord's Prayer, hearing and saying debts and debtors so naturally, while everyone else stumbled on those words. There was something so familiar about it all, and from that moment I knew that I needed something more in my life, and from there many things began to grow, but that's another story.
So that's part of why I say debts and debtors, remembering that moment. That's not it though, to me it really has more to do with what I think the Lord's Prayer itself is all about. But first off, let me say that either is Biblically correct. If we look at our New Testament reading for today from Matthew, his version of the Lord's prayer, you'll see it translated as debts there in the middle of the prayer, verse 12, but then after wards in verses 14 and 15, Jesus seems to add to the prayer an explanation, saying:

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [2]


So either makes sense, and either is Biblically appropriate. You could argue that debts and debtors is taken from the ordered text of the prayer, but you'd be stretching a bit, since the prayer is augmented and added to, in the final shared way that Christians recite it in English today. In other words the translation into English is already augmented to an extent, and not taken verbatim from the Biblical text. I'd also like to point out that the Greek words for debts and trespass, are translated well and it is appropriate to translate them differently. Opheilema is translated as debt, meaning "amount owed/obligation" and paraptoma is translated as trepassing is literally "stepping around the rules." You here it there with the "para" part of it, which means around. The other places in the Bible where they are used are obviously in line with these definitions of debts and trespass. In Luke's version Debt is used, and then sins is used, so again it can be seen as both.
But I digress, I mentioned that the real reason I prefer to recite debts and debtors has to do with how I see the Lord's Prayer. I see it as more than words, as I spoke about in another sermon of mine I called Magic Words, more than those Magic words, but instead a very statement of Christ's teachings, from which you can derive the totality of Christ's message. So the words don't just stay as words but become a living prayer, a way of thinking, a way of living, in short Christian discipleship, and being as such it must run then parallel to the other great statements of the meaning of discipleship, especially The Great Commandment, of Loving God and loving Neighbor, so the Lord's Prayer in a way is a parallel statement and must then fit in with the amazing power and sacrifice of Love, and this gets at why for me Debts and Debtors is more appropriate.
There is a difference between law, which I think fits trespass more,  and love, which I think fits better with the word debt, and it is the difference between the old and new testaments, and it becomes a major Theological difference. It is not that law disappears or is abolished, but instead, as Christ says fulfilled, and surpassed. Love must be big enough to include and then transcend the law. If it does not, include the law, it cannot be love. It becomes instead the self indulgent shadow of love, that we so often mistake as love in our culture, but that is not new to us, it is a human problem, and a great symptom of our brokenness. So love must include law, but they are still different. It is a basic difference. Here is the Philosophic statement of it: Laws are finite and love is infinite. But  you probably are asking yourself, what does that mean? Of what use is such an abstraction? What does it matter?
Here is what I mean. What is law? It's a list right, a list of rules. There could be Ten of them, there could be 273 of them, there could be pages and pages of laws, sometimes in bills too large to be read. They list out what it is that you cannot do, or define tangible things that you are required to do. If we use the 10 commandments as a example.

1.      No other gods
2.      No graven image
3.      No Lord's name in vain
4.      Remember Sabbath and Keep it Holy (But even this is a tangible no, do not disrespect the Sabbath)
5.      Honor your father and your mother, (Again, do not disrespect your parents)
6.      No murder
7.      No adultery.
8.      No stealing.
9.      No false witness
10.  No coveting 

Now at the end of the day, you could check off that list, at least theoretically, and be finished, be successful, be good enough, but still haven't loved. But you couldn't do the opposite, could you?  Could you love and do those things? Love and still murder, love and commit adultery. I don't think so, but again some may disagree and in our larger culture many do. A lawyer may begin to quibble over the details, bargaining, negotiating, trying to somehow place their client above the line of guilt. That's it isn't it with law, it's a dividing line of good enough, those who are and those who aren't, which means that we are dealing with minimums. Laws are always based on the minimums of behavior, whereas virtues/love do not deal in minimums. They live in places above the minimums. Someone may murder, there is the limit, but reflexively, there is no limit to how much life you can give in this world. Someone may lie, breaking the law, but there is no limit to how much truth you can spread. Just not being adulterous doesn't make someone a good spouse, yet a loving spouse would never even think about adultery. . . See how it works, love transcends the law. It lives in a realm above it all. I'll jump cultures for another example. The golden rule of reciprocity is found also in the teachings of Confucius, almost word for word like it is in the Bible, but almost. Confucius has it, "Never do unto others what you would not want them to do to you." See the subtle difference between that love your neighbor as yourself. You could live in a cave somewhere by yourself, and fulfill Confucius' teaching, but you could not love as Jesus teaches.
And so I find debts more appropriate than trespasses, or even sins for that matter. Trespassing means stepping outside of the norm, breaking the law, breaking a set standard, but debt has to do with relationship, individual and infinite. Some relationships are based in laws, but others reside above, and these are the ones where love is present. And therefore there is no standard of forgiveness. No hoops to jump through, no lowest common denominator, no earned status, simply two beings who exist in concert, and if love is present, no limit and no condition, simply abundance. This is what God wants of us, and what God freely gives to us in grace. Any limitations we put on forgiveness subtract love from the equation, leaving us and the relationship broken, just as we do when we put limitations on God.
So why debts. . . as I said debt is relational, it lives in a give and take, trying to somehow achieve a balance. If it is money, one gives money, one owes money, that relationship is out of balance until the debt is paid, . . . or forgiven. Let's look to God in this equation first. God gave us life, existence, this world we live in, our friends, our loved ones, our talents, our gifts, all things. That's a mighty balance to put back into place isn't it. If that wasn't all, God also made covenants and agreements, gave us laws, and then gave us his son, giving us new life again. Way way way out of balance. Do we think we could repay that debt, put things into balance, by following a list of minimums? No the only thing that can put that deal back in balance is forgiveness, and not just of our missteps, but of our very existence. Our debt, but Jesus took that debt upon his own shoulders, and for us forgave that debt in love, unconditionally. Saying debts reminds me of the tremendous infinite value of grace, and reminds me just how much God truly loves, for he not only forgives my missteps, but my everything. Now with that kind of love abounding, how can you limit it with details?
Having been given so much, can we forgive likewise?  What does it say when we do not? Our Old Testament Passage referred to the Year of Jubilee, when all debts and transactions went back to 0 and a reset button was pushed, not because anything happened except the passage of time, the time had come and so debts were forgiven. This is what we pray for when we say, Thy kingdom come, on Earth as it is in heaven. Let  us seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness one forgiveness of debt at a time. May it be so! Amen.

[1]The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Mt 6:5-15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
[2]The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Mt 6:5-15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Better Part

The Better Part
A sermon delivered by Rev. Peter T. Atkinson
July 21, 2013
at Gordonsville Presbyterian Church, Gordonsville, Virginia
Luke 10: 38-42

Let us pray,
Help us to see despite our eyes
Help us to think outside of our minds
Help us to be more than our lives      
For your eyes show the way
            Your mind knows the truth
            Your being is the life.

10:38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying.40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me."41 But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

This is one of those really familiar passages. Much like last week's Good Samaritan, which directly precedes this story, it's well known. There are tons of books written about this. If you go on Amazon you'll find books like, "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" or "31 days to clean: Having a Martha House in a Mary Way." Mary and Martha have come to represent two types of people and we find ourselves identifying somehow with one of the two types. It's almost like an Ancient Meyer's Briggs personality test, and maybe one of the oldest such distinctions in history. So the question comes down: Are you a Martha type or a Mary type? Traditionally the Martha type is the doer, is organized, is dutiful, is a worker, dependable, etc. and the Mary type is lazy, a dreamer, disorganized, but somehow more spiritually fulfilled and oriented. . . something like that. These are the two types and if you look at this passage it's the Mary character ,who at first glance, at least according to Jesus, has chosen what he calls the better part. A few years ago while I was an ministry intern in Hampton, I preached on this passage, and sent out that simple message, that people should look beyond the day to day duties of the world and try to find ways to add some of the spirituality to their lives, that the slower, stopping to smell the roses, contemplative Mary life is somehow more the right way to live. It's a dangerous message, and one that is a little bit too simplified and misses some of the nuances of the story.
Of course, I also remember being told all of this afterwards when a Martha type came up to me and let me know about it, unapologetically so, making me think twice about exactly what I said, how I read this passage, and how I should try to dig deeper, beyond the surface, especially when that surface message is comforting to me, but challenging to others. You see I'm naturally more of a Mary person, and so dug the excuse to be contemplative rather than overly dutiful, but I found that many of the people I was preaching to were Marthas, and I also realized just how important, and how much I was depending and would be depending on Marthas in my ministry. So let's dig a little deeper today, and try to see exactly what this "better part" is all about.
What first strikes us about this passage is the fact that it is very similar to another of Jesus' famous stories, the Prodigal Son, especially the role in that story of the older brother, who just won't come into the party to greet his newly welcomed home lost brother. So many people see eye to eye with that dutiful brother, much like Martha here, and are troubled by them being the forgotten one, or the "wrong" one. Is it wrong to be dutiful Jesus? Is it wrong to feel like a guest should be cared for and served? Is it wrong to do the necessary work? Why? You've probably been there before. You seem to be the one who does the grunt work because you are the one who seems to care more about it, and you wonder why it is. You seem to always be the one who steps up and does the dishes or else they'd sit there in the sink. You seem to always be the one who takes out the trash or it would pile up over the top of the can. You seem to be the only one who is working to complete the group work at school. You seem to be the only one who is following the rules and doing things the right way. You seem to be the only one who has a concept about how things can and should be done. You seem to always be the one who volunteers to clean the church, you seem to always be the one who brings fellowship treats, you seem to be the only one. . . and it all depends on you, and would come crashing down without you doing it, you say to yourself, am I the only one who cares. It seems so, and not only that, I have to read passages like this one or the Prodigal son, and have to now be told how that I'm wrong for doing so. The others who do nothing, according to Jesus, choose the "better part." Great, this is really fair. And the bitterness comes. We understand the older brother, we understand Martha. We understand their frustration. So now I get it Pete you're going to tell us now how Martha's should get over it, right, how our bitterness is destroying us, and how we just shouldn't think that way, that it is destroying our relationships, that we have to see it the other way, that we have to empathize and aspire to be more patient, and more spiritual, so that we can too, choose the better part, by taking it easy, not getting so stirred up, caring less. Is that right? Maybe.
I will say this. These two, Mary and Martha, and the Prodigal Son and his older brother are not the only sibling stories from the Bible. There are many and they are all troubling in an eerily similar way. Jacob and Esau is one or you can now just take a look around the nursery and start to remember these stories. Cain and Abel, Cain works hard, they both give offerings, but for some reason Cain's does not please God, broken relationship, to say the least, Cain stands over the bleeding dead Abel. Joseph sitting dreaming under a tree in the amazing Technicolor Dream Coat given only to him by his father, while his brothers in their anger plot to get rid of him. And this one is great because it really gets at the brokenness of the relationship. The text says that his brothers cannot speak peace to him. . . literally shalom. They could not even wish him good health, for the culture that is paramount to a total disowning, and certainly a precursor for their later treatment of him.
This is one of the marks of these stories isn't it, one of those little details that really ties them together. Joseph's brother's cannot speak peace to Joseph, the elder brother won't go into the party yes, but also in his language doesn't call him "my brother" but instead refers to him as "this son of yours" saying "This son of yours has squandered your money on prostitutes and you kill for him the fatted calf." Look at Martha here, instead of speaking to Mary directly, she talks to Jesus, she does call Mary her sister, but she talks about her to Jesus, with her still there at his feet, trying to use his authority over her to get what she wants. Again broken relationship. She says "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me."
And now is when Jesus says, Martha Martha, repeating her name. At first you could say that this comes across as condescending. Like come on Martha get a hold of yourself. But then you realize the authority with which Jesus speaks, and you remember that Martha is not the first name repeated in such a fashion in the Biblical narrative, nor the last. God says, Abraham, Abraham, when he tells him not to sacrifice Isaac; God says, Moses, Moses, when speaking from the burning bush, calling him to service, likewise Jacob, Jacob, when calling him to go into Egypt, likewise Samuel, Samuel/ then later, Simon, Simon, when he wants Simon Peter to return to his service after his denial, and finally Saul, Saul, on the road to Damascus, calling him to service. Think about the club Jesus welcomes Martha into, a father of nations, the man chosen to lead the people out of bondage, the name sake of the nation of Israel, the king making priest, the rock on which the church is built, and the one chosen to bring Christianity to the Gentiles. Jesus honors Martha by calling her in this way. He is calling her to remember whom she serves, and why what she is doing matters. Only one thing.

But the passage says that she is distracted by many things, and then Jesus adds to distracted that she also is worried about many things. I don't think that it is the work she is doing that has her distracted, it's not what she is doing that is the problem, it's what she is thinking. She has gotten to that point of bitterness and broken relationship. She is not wrong to be doing all of those things, duty is not wrong, but what she's lost is love. She's lost the purpose for doing it in the first place. Think of our lament from earlier. . . Am I the only one who cares? The question then becomes what do you care about? Is it the order and the rightness, or is it the person, the guest, the people around you? How easy it is to get distracted by the process and forget the purpose. Love is that purpose, and must be that purpose, the one thing. . .

1 Corinthians 13: "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."

Now what about Mary. . . Shouldn't she be helping? Shouldn't she be loving Martha, showing her love by helping out, sharing the duties, being concerned and caring for what her sister cares about? Yes, I think so. She should be, you'd think her love should manifest itself in some action, but it is action that Jesus cannot force and have it still be love. . . that is the ancient primordial dilemma, look at what Jesus says, She has chosen the better part, which will not be taken from her. . . I will not take from her choice, for in that choice is love, which is the better part. Love cannot exist without that choice. It cannot exist in a triangular authoritarian guilt fest. It is built on the submission of the cross not the authority of the sword. Again the cause of the action for the universe is more important than the action itself. Just like duty is empty without love, so too is any compelled action. Jesus will not tell her to help because she has chosen not too, even if it is the wrong choice.
The sad thing is we do not know the rest of the story. The chapter ends here and moves on to the next thing. Chapter 11 opens up in a different place with Jesus talking about prayer, giving the words to Luke's version of the Lord's prayer, so we don't know what happens after this moment, but we do know what takes place before it, and it is Jesus telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. Being there, being neighborly helping someone in need. If Mary, seated at the foot of Jesus, completely idle is the picture of Christian goodness, and the better part, then there is a pretty large contradiction in this chapter. Jesus asks the pharisee after telling the Good Samaritan parable, which one of these is the neighbor? What if we asked it about Martha and Mary? It's a good question? Is Martha a better neighbor? Or is Mary? Based on this story, if I'm lying in a ditch I'm hoping that Martha is first to walk by. And I'm hoping that in this story Jesus and Mary join Martha in her duties, so that they can all grow in relationship and love together, undistracted, but completely concerned. Love is deep wide and infinite enough for dishes.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Sometimes seemingly alone. . .  And since it is all of those things, it is the better part and the only part that matters. It is the part that doesn't leave Abel in the dust, and reconciles Jacob and Esau, and then again Joseph and his brothers, welcomes home the prodigal son and goes outside to invite the older brother in as well, cares enough about Martha, to call her to the higher service that love demands, and allows the freedom of choice to not love, the hard seemingly alone part that eats away at us as it does our Maker.  May we be so blessed to be likewise called from our own distractions into love's higher service.
I was blessed to see such service at work last weekend. . .

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Abigail

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Abigail
Rev. Peter T. Atkinson

 Almighty, merciful, loving and compassionate God,
Who makes the heavens and the earth,
All that we see through Your word and with Your love,
Providing for us each step of the way,
Faltering, we stand in your steadfast hand,
Giving you our utmost and undying thanks,
For in your creation, as part of your love,
You sent us Your son Jesus Christ:
Reconnecting us, restoring us, redeeming us,
Teaching us that You are the true power in this world
And that Love is the stuff of this world you make,
And that Love is even stronger than death.
We thank you for making all the days in which we live,
Even this one, this day, this moment,
Where we celebrate the life of Your Child Abigail,
We thank you for her eyes that lit up her face,
And we thank you for her smile that lit up all of ours,
We thank you for her spirit, and her energy,
For her laughs, for her beauty, for your grace,
In sharing her with us for each blessed day we had.
On this day, and on all the days to come,
For somehow you make the sun to rise again and again,
That your light always shines in the darkest places,
Inspiring us to face a world without our friend,
Help us to know she is now with you,
And so not really parted from us, for Your presence
Is in all places and all times,  and every single heart,
Even and especially the broken ones,
So with you there mending the broken pieces
Nursing the hurting pieces, loving the lonely pieces,
Sheltering the fearful pieces,  and filling the empty pieces
Is she, the little girl and the woman who deeply touched our lives.
And so on this day we celebrate, we praise you O God,
We celebrate friendship, we celebrate family,
We celebrate this Your Church, encircling us all
These last few days, bringing us back from where Your winds have blown us
Deciding once again to care more instead of less,
We celebrate memories, we celebrate life
We celebrate love, we celebrate Your child Abigail,
Knowing that her smile is lighting up one of the many rooms in your house
As it has the many rooms of our hearts.
In the greatest gratitude shown by our grief,
We humbly pray, in the name of our savior Jesus Christ,