Thursday, February 4, 2010

a severe mercy

once upon a time, there was a young man that taught me how to live, to love, and to be loved. he taught me how to be whole, how to treat others, how to treat myself. he reminded me of what it was like to twirl in circles and have someone be amazed at my beauty and innocence. and through his absolute understanding of all of those things, he guided me directly to the foot of the cross, drew me into the presence of my savior and into the whirlwind of unconditonal love that has come with having a relationship with Jesus.

when we were 17, i convinced him to skip class one day and he sat me down in the back of our high school theatre and read the bible to me. on valentines day, he took me to a fancy restaurant and gave me dessert before dinner. he called me every night and played "i'll be" by edwin mccain on his guitar until i fell asleep. once, he blindfolded me and when i opened my eyes we were at disney on ice, where he spent his entire paycheck on overpriced snow cones and buzz lightyear t-shirts. reading over my old journals, it seems so weird to be writing these things as memoirs to a man who has been dead for the last two years. it seems almost impossible that this is my little way of keeping him alive. there is a book called "a severe mercy" and it talks about the gift of mercy in the presence of death, and how god sometimes allows very dark things to keep us from even darker things and when i think about what my life would have looked like if i had never met him, or what it would have looked like had i never given into the sin that separated me from him, it gives me chills. what a severe mercy. God, whose own hand ordained cole in my life, and yet allowed me to stumble far enough away from Him to keep me from being the widowed woman picking up the pieces. 

mourning is a funny thing. in a way, i feel guilty for being sad. i lost him before he was gone through the breaking of his heart because of my own selfishness and missed him before i knew just how long the longing for his presence in my life would be void. sometimes i think that it isnt my place to mourn,but  it isnt a romantic kind of longing, or a physical longing, or even an emotional one, just a deep, deep, hole in the earth where his presence brought so much joy to so many. 

and while i am deeply and fully in love with Omar, i attribute all that i know of love to the faithfulness of another man. Cole Stafford, thank you for teaching me to love my Savior and guiding me into understanding what love is. all that i know of goodness can be traced back to your faithfulness to God. thank you for sharing part of your short life with me.  i will never be the same.
4/11/85 to 2/5/08


Mama Bird said...

great post. such beautiful words.

Rebecca Louise. said...

How lovely! You have a lovely way of describing memories :)

KillerB said...

That is beautiful, Allie.

Kate said...

What a very small world... I knew Cole in college. He died the week that I was doing the ten year anniversary of the church. I knew him for one year and made such an impression on me that I felt like I should love Jesus deeper. Allie, thank you for writing this.