We have a nightly ritual of visiting the cemetary each evening. Most of the time Ethan tags along, and sometimes my mom, or Cliff's parents, and Emily came with her kids just a few nights ago. It is a way to honor the memory of Faith, to show significance to her life and a way in which we can grieve for her. Tonight we got home late from the store and Cliff and I went alone while my mom watched Ethan.It was Dusk when we pulled in and as we looked across the cemetary there were fireflies across the fields swirling about. I could hear the locusts and crickets calling outside my window. There were no other visitors in sight and as we slowly drove down the cemetary drive the sweet smell of dusktime air rolled in the window. It was already dark enough out that the solar powered ground ornaments were brightly shining on one tombstone. We parked at the very back of the cemetary under the same group of trees that we always do. As I got out of the truck I saw something moving in the front field of the cemetary, weaving its way among headstones. I stared hard for a moment and saw that it was a Doe gracefully making her way through the cemetary. She was very big, over six feet in height.I pointed her out to Cliff and we watched for a moment and then hand in hand we walked slowly in her direction. She saw us coming her way and changed directions to head toward the woods in the back of the cemetary. We stopped as we came even with her across the field and stared at her graceful beauty. She stopped and stared back and we stood like that for some time gazing across at each other. Finally the deer wondered out of sight into the trees.It was a strange yet very peaceful moment. Sometimes the places we are in life feel very solitary. But God has a way of reminding us we are not alone in unexpected ways and unexpected places. A cemetary is one of the most solitary places I could think to go. It is a place that is full of rest, quietly sleeping. A place of sorrow, honor, death. Tonight, the cemetary was full of life. It was around me in the form of nightbugs chirping, fireflies dancing through the air, a Doe strolling among the granite headstones.......God is everywhere and connected in all things... even the cemetary at night.
Thank you God for being ever before and behind me, for being with me in the midst of my sorrow. For caring for me so deeply and for always being there.