I just received a precious gift. Rosemarie’s Bible.
My effervescent mother in law, passed away from Covid in early January and we remain in a state of disbelief and grief. But holding her Bible reminds me how this dear woman lived a life of love and left a legacy of faith.
Leather bound and in the traditional King James, her Bible has enlarged print and well-worn pages. But interestingly, it does not contain any personal notes. There is no highlighting of special verses or writing in the margins. I had hoped to discover which verses propelled Rosemarie forward during times of suffering – she had lost her mother, her husband, and her teenage son, all during a five-year period in the late 80s. How do you put one foot in front of the other after such loss?
The only thing Rosemarie had written in her Bible was a reference to a single verse, penned in her characteristic left-tilted cursive.
Psalm 30. Verse 5, says,
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of this verse puts it this way,
He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give ways to days of laughter. (The Message)
Rosemarie certainly experienced nights of crying her eyes out, but oh how she laughed. And if I had to come up with two words to describe the totality of her life, they would be, “only love”.
Have you had nights of crying? Covid has brought us all to our knees and stolen jobs, human contact, security found in earthly things. Now with the coming of Spring and new vaccinations, may those nights give ways to days of laughter that would make Rosemarie giggle from above.
Rosemarie’s Bible will sit on the shelf next to my mother’s (who passed away in 2010.) Both in the King James; both well worn. And both reminding those of us left on earth to look up, catch sight of that first bud on a bare winter branch, and remember,
Joy cometh in the morning!