FAVORITES OF THE HEART (for Uncle Ray)

by Marie Elena

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Years ago, Dad called me.  “Did you get the news from Niles?”  Those seven words made my breath quicken. No, I hadn’t. “You didn’t hear from Judy?”  I gasped.  I heard my choking voice say, “Oh no!  Not Uncle Ray! Not Uncle Ray!”

No.  Not Uncle Ray.  Someone completely unexpected. Someone else I cared about.

God, forgive me.  What was I feeling, in the wake of an unexpected family death?  Relief?  To my embarrassment and dismay, yes.  Relief.  I actually sighed long and hard with that relief, and immediately confessed to Dad what I was feeling.  I don’t remember his response.  I remember not feeling judged for my human heart.  I remember believing this would remain between Dad and me and my God.  But it didn’t.  I’ve confessed it to a few others I love and trust.  To this day, I still feel the guilt well up on remembrance.  But, God …

Oh, the human heart
Which beat in Jesus, himself
For John, whom He loved.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018