A little over a week ago, my beloved grandmother Kathleen Elsner passed away. I wrote this poem in memory of her. It is a hymn, but it is infused with her influence. It reflects my memories of watching the cardinals in her backyard and her love of tea and my assurance that in Christ, she is now in glory, and I remain connected to her.
O Father God, You are Eternal Love.
Your love is manifest in all we see:
A flash of scarlet wings against white snow,
A flower bed, a smile, a cup of tea
Sweet daily blessings printed with Your name
But sweeter still the love that makes them shine,
Infusing every memory we share
With precious glimmers of Your love divine.
O Son of God to human parents born
You shared our joys and felt our pain and grief.
You bled and died for sins of those You love.
By death, from death You brought us our relief
And rising, You have conquered every wrong.
Relationships we broke You have restored,
Temporal image of Eternal Love,
We thank and praise you, Savior and our Lord.
O Holy Spirit, Comforter and Strength,
You breathe, and sin-crushed spirits come alive
You make our lives reflect the risen Christ,
You lift us to the goal toward which we strive.
You bind in unity all those You touch,
Through space and time and into heav’n above,
Where those who’ve gone before wait till we join
Their perfect union with Eternal Love.