I went to two funerals this week, each a lovely and poignant blessing. I went as a bystander, a friend, a comforter, for I did not know either of the faithfully departed well. But I was honored to enter that sacred time, a place of pain and joy.

I am leaky vessel. Joy pours in, and tears flow out. What joy, you may ask. The joy of thankfulness I see on the faces of the family as they recognize their friends in the pews. Their haggard expressions melt and mellow, resting in the strength of those around them. They are surrounded...

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