The French call them muguets and we call them Lilies of the Valley, but today I prefer a less common name, Mary’s Tears. The legend says that they sprang from Mary’s weeping during the crucifixion. I like to imagine that. If flowers could spring from God’s weeping, I bet the whole world would be covered in white.
I made myself take a walk this afternoon, just to get out of the house on my day off, in hopes that I might get to catch the wind scooting along the cloud of loss over our part of South Carolina, see it nudge it a bit to let the sun shine through. My family and my church and my community lost a very fine man, friend, and father last night from a cancer that swept through his body with an unrelenting fierceness. Sherwood is at complete peace now, but everyone who loved him is left in tears.
It comforts me that God weeps beside us and for us because God knows how much we loved our friend. We can say that we will be with Sherwood again and that he is with God, enveloped in pure love, and I do believe that, but it still is awful where we are and I won’t say it isn’t.
So I went out for a walk, by myself this time, since our sweet doggy Tanner died last weekend, (we seem to be in a season of loss) and I found the muguets, lilies of the valley, tears bending over in the wind, like little bells, ringing a silent hymn to God’s ears, maybe a prayer for Sherwood, his wife Deb and his sweet girls, Naomi and Sarah. If the rivers can clap for God and the mountains can sing, I like to imagine that maybe these flowers can send their own praise, and while they’re at it, ring out our thanks for Sherwood Mobley, for his beautiful life, and that we got to join him in it.