We Will Stand

Friends of Jason Molitor from twenty-five years of Arkansas Tech Wesley sing together at his send-off.

Friends of Jason Molitor from twenty-five years of Arkansas Tech Wesley sing together at his send-off.

It’s 10:30, and I’m alone for the first time all day, and it feels right.

That’s not to say I have not enjoyed the community that gathered today at Jason’s funeral. Our presence bore witness to the number of families he belonged to: the Molitors, the Tysons, United Methodist clergy, the ’90s era Tech Wesley, Russellville FUMC,  modern day Tech Wesley, Age to Age–and many others I’m forgetting. The list goes on and on. We leaned in on each other, much like the stones of an archway. Alone we would collapse. Together, we pressed against one another and helped hold the weight.

Almost.

When the various generations of Circuit Riders (Tech Wesley’s musical group) stood to sing together, it seemed a near perfect tribute to Jason. Then, as we sang “We Will Stand,” several people in the congregation stood up also, and I couldn’t stop the tears–not only because I like many others feel Jason’s loss acutely, but also because that was for me the most intensely I’ve felt his continued presence so far.

In college, we were idealists. Jason never outgrew that. That God’s children could come together in a love bigger than any individual was not a theoretical statement for him. He believed it could and should and sometimes even did happen in fact. When we all stood together in that moment, I had the same unexpected and overwhelming feeling I had during my earliest days of adoption into the Wesley community all those years ago: this is a window to heaven, and by grace I am part of it.

Now, as I think of these things alone in my bedroom, they don’t seem silly or trite. In fact, they seem like too much to really take in. I need time to knead through these things, since the work of grief demands both shared and solitary effort. But I will sleep better tonight because of what I experienced today. Because of the reminders of what heaven looks like from Earth’s vantage. And, to paraphrase Rob’s song, it’s beautiful.

Christ’s peace and good rest to all tonight. As long as there is love, we will stand.

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