“I never thought I’d drift from prayer, but when my father passed away a few months ago, a wall went up between me and God. My dad was 88 and had led a full life, but after I lost him, pain took up residence in my heart. I begged the Lord for relief from my grief, even a sign that my dad was okay…anything at all that would bring me some semblance of comfort. But I just kept hurting.
“One morning, I felt compelled to go to my father’s grave site. As I settled into the cool grass and ran my fingers across the engraved letters on the marble marker, my loss seemed unbearable. How I missed his kind blue eyes, his big bear hugs, his silly harmonica. I thought longingly of the days when we’d sit on the porch and he would play songs on that little thing until well after sundown. Tears burned my eyes. Was a stone with a name carved in it all that was left of someone I loved?
“Although it was a calm sunny day, suddenly a strong wind kicked up and chilled my skin. Then I heard it…strains of harmonica playing ‘Amazing Grace’ in the distance—Dad’s favorite song and the last tune he played on his harmonica at church. I looked all around, but I was the only person there.
“As quickly as it began, the music faded and the wind died down, and I felt the heavy weight of grief finally lift. God had shown me that love never really leaves us, and by loving, my father is still closer than a song in my own heart.” —Amanda Richmond, 46, Elmira, NY