steadfast love

Today marks two months since the accident; I'm already tired of counting the months, knowing just how many are yet to come. It still doesn't feel real to me yet, still feels like Dad will get home from some trip next week or something, still look at the pictures and feel like someone who is so foundational in my life can't just be gone, can he? There is so much life in those pictures; can it really have been two months? Why haven't we woken up from this bad dream yet? That is the inner battle, but there are so many other forces of comfort, encouragement, and truly steadfast love that have been the most incredible support.

In the aftermath of such a blind-siding tragedy, people kept telling us, "If you need anything, just let me know." I don't know if I really believed them. But I do now. In the last two months, the generosity of people who love Dad and us has left me speechless, bewildered, and unspeakably grateful. The fundraiser for my tuition has blown away all my expectations; just look at how incredibly generous people are, even anonymously! Mom has been working on projects all over the property, trying to maintain or finish things like the pool, the kitchen, the flooring, etc. There is too much for us to do, and honestly we can't even lift half of the tools we need to do these projects! But people have given hours upon hours upon hours of their time, energy, and sweat to make these things happen.

Yesterday, as we were preparing the living room for the new flooring to be laid, we wrote things all over the old floor boards as a way of blessing the future. I wrote a phrase I had read that morning, translated into English in so many ways. In Hebrew it's only three words, kiy le'olam chesdo. Kiy means "for," le is a prefix roughly meaning "until," olam is "forever," and chesdo is the noun chesed with a 3rd masculine singular possessive affix, making it something like "his steadfast love." This noun chesed is translated differently in each version of the English Bible, anything from "steadfast love" to "mercy" to "lovingkindness." The entire phrase is perhaps most commonly known as "His love endures forever," though the verb "endures" isn't actually found in the original Hebrew. Rather, the psalmist (Psalm 118) is reminding the reader that God's deep, steadfast, faithful, merciful love is already stretching out to... forever. Eternal. Never-ending. Adding the word "endures" might make it seem like His love for us is pushing forward, trying to make it, enduring and bearing with us despite ourselves. It could tempt us to fall into a rather self-depricating view of ourselves as recipients of begrudged love. But rather, "His steadfast love is to forever," in the present tense, means that there is no end, no bound, no escaping His love.

I wrote those words on the floor last night because that is what people have shown us these past two months. They've shown us free, unconditional love that is anything but begrudged and duty. From the person who anonymously paid for our new flooring, to the mom who brings us a meal, to the friends whose home is always open, I know I am loved. If I ever doubted it, God has been using everyone around me to prove it otherwise.

And I wrote Psalm 139 down as well; go read it - it is such a beautiful declaration of God's unfailing love.

Thank you. Thank you for your steadfast love. You are a glimpse of God, a taste of his kingdom, an in-breaking of his kingdom here and now.


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