He was described as smartly dressed, slumped over on the lawn Tuesday morning, November 6th.
Don’t look at him.
His body broken and lifeless. Quick! Grab the familiar couch blanket, wrap it around him, and carry him home.
Don’t look at him.
Hours before, he was locked in his office building. Leaving his last earthly fingerprints, washing dozens of coffee mugs and spelling out L-O-V-E with them in the break room.
And in an instance, that Monday night, his body slammed into the stone building, meeting the cold hard ground. The grass grasped under his hands as he crawled while his heart poured out into his chest. His injuries taking him quickly. And his body lay broken on that grassy rooftop.
Don’t look at him. Bring him home. He is our brother. He is their son. Wanted and loved. Adored and cherished. Don’t look at his lifelessness.
On November 28th the father buried the son. The mother planted beautiful flowers. His name is on a plaque. His name. How can this be?
One more hug. One more embrace. One more chance to carry him home. One more anything involving light in his eyes. And the answer is no.
His kind face at the memorial service on December 15th, staring from a picture right into your eyes. The smile lines, the warmth, the intentionality. And the ache to hold his face and kiss his cheeks. Feel his shoulders and see his eyes.
The ache is so painful. To grasp and know, the answer is no. No where in the world are those cheeks, those eyes. Gone. And the answer wells up like shards of glass.
We turn our eyes to the heavens, they have fresh meaning today. He is there. He is whole and complete now. All he ever wanted to be and more. And the weeping grows deeper.
Jesus, you knew. You knew 32 years would be whole and complete. You knew this father would bury this son. You knew those moments when the grass was grasped under his hands. You were there. You saw. You knew.
And yet You weep with us. This affliction. This fallen-ness. This utter separation. You know and You knew.
This earth holds a new dead-end. He is no longer in Edinburgh. The option for embrace cut short. But not to you oh Lord. And as my voice cracks to utter praises, the praises of my soul, he feels none of that. The chains are broken. He is free. His praises to You flow out of reflex and desire.
My longing for that time of desire to praise you is cut open, exposed and bleeding on that grassy patch in Edinburgh. In the answer of “no” you call home your beloved to an everlasting yes. And we are taught to mourn as we struggle to emulate the creator.
We fall with him. To our Jesus, to life. Painfully searching for the beloved brother, we find him with his Lord.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, soon shall pass thy pilgrim days, hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight and prayer to praise.
Timothy Warren Cunningham, littlest brother and cherished son, whole and complete in 32 years. He finished well and we will see him again.
Praise be to God. Tearfully, praise be to God.