Coach passed away about a year before I left that church. He never made it through a sermon without sleeping; continued to believe our bordering state was where all evil is made manifest; and he spent the last couple years of his life paying attention to God’s work in him and around him.
At his funeral, the church overflowed with ex-players, community members, and his family. We spoke of the hope we have in the resurrection story of our faith; that he was reunited with his bride and child; that he was at peace and with God. And then we proclaimed that as he left the confines of this earthly life, he passed through to the next life with God’s arms open wide, a smile on God’s face, and those infamous words—“Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
And perhaps, for the very first time, Coach heard the actual voice of God. In that moment, all was made right and the joyous reunion of heaven erupted yet again as another saint joined the rest in perpetual love and light.
Our journey isn’t all that different from Coach’s. The details are uniquely ours, but our lives are marked by a grace that we glimpse in moments and are unaware most other moments. Yet a standing invitation from God exists, be attentive. Be attentive to God’s presence, to the beauty that surrounds you, to the people in front of you, to your soul that grounds you. Be attentive, for love is bursting forth and you are invited to dwell with it!