Heartbroken, I asked God for a sign of . . .. I didn’t even know what to ask. I just needed comfort. I needed to see past the empty bed and the hamper with without his clothes.
All I could think of was all his hopes and dreams that he never got to fulfill. His dream to provide for me and Zoya, and work with others, and rehabilitate houses. His dream to build our promise land.
And then I started my day as I start my days, with my readings from my Sacred Days Planner, my readings from the daily office. A day behind, but the perfect words, from Ez 37.
37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.
Open your graves. Settle you in your own land. Bring you back to the promised land.
And in the most random of situations someone had sent me 20 seconds of our wedding, that I listened to right after I read this, and in those 20 seconds the pastor said, “this marriage is your promise land, to cultivate and to grow.”
And I know God answered my prayers for a sign. I do not understand it all, but I know Shah’s death was not the end. New life is to come.
God defeats death.
And this life that loved us so well, is not over.