His dad hung himself, but he left us all hanging in the middle places between then and what will be.
And I can say, in these middle places, that God is good and that good has come out of the ugliness of the brokenness of suicide.
But there is still a hole there, in the shape of a man still so needed and the ache rests on the edges of laughter and decisions and holding the hands of his grandchildren.
There are days in a week where big decisions have to be made; when wading through all of the choices and options would really be so much easier if he was still here to call. And not even just to tell us what to do really, mostly it would be just to hear him promise that he would be praying.
He prayed strong.
Maybe that’s why everything that the word redeemed holds, holds my soul still today. To redeem is to act as a kinsman-redeemer. To avenge, revenge, ransom, to do the part of a kinsman – to do the part of the next of kin.
God doesn’t stand aloof at a distance, He isn’t just there for a quick chat over coffee never to be heard from again.
He loves me like the same blood runs through His veins and mine, because the blood of His Son poured out to make me His own.
In the lack of my ability or anyone else’s to bridge the gap between myself and Holy God, Jesus stepped in and paid the sin-price. Where I stand fatherless, He comes close and claims me as His daughter. Where I sit overwhelmed and unsure, He is Wisdom.
Arms stretched out and blood pouring down, He covered my lack so that I could be found redeemed in Him.
God Who redeems with His Own arm, Whose veins were pierced and split so Your blood could be spilled out instead of mine. Whipped and spit on, beaten and mocked, a mass of ripped and broken flesh hung up on splintered wood. You stepped in, and with your right arm and your left spread open wide, You breathed Your last and declared it finished.
And after death had its moment, You rose again and defeated it and it is under Your arm that I find shelter, forgiveness, a new purpose and life .
It is under Your arm that I find redemption and am made brand new.