Last Sunday, I was very impressed by Grant standing in the front row at church. Standing in the front row during the music and worship may not be all that impressive to some, but I was impressed because Grant had been in a wheelchair for almost a year, almost as long as I have known him. I noticed last Sunday that when the congregation stood up during a certain song, he pulled himself up on a walker and stood. He could have remained seated, and no one would have thought twice about it. People understand why he is sitting, and it was not necessary for him to make the effort. But he did make the effort. Worshipping God was very important to him, and he was not willing to offer less than all he could give. I thought this was a tremendous example for him to set, for young people in our audience to see him up in the front row, getting up out of his wheelchair to stand and sing to the Lord. I decided I should tell him how inspiring he was to me.
I did not get the chance. Grant left us this week. He will be watching his beloved Steelers play tonight from his eternal home, if he still has any interest in the Super Bowl after seeing the streets of gold and his Savior's face.
Yesterday at the funeral, after singing "Amazing Grace," the worship leader began "Marvelous Light." If you do not know that song, it is more upbeat, one where the teenagers usually yell "Woooo!" in between the lines, not your typical solemn funeral march. But it was what Grant had requested. As I listened to the words, as though I were hearing them again for the first time, I realized why. "Into marvelous light I'm running/Out of darkness, out of shame." Grant got up out of the wheelchair this week and ran into the marvelous light of his Savior's arms. He's running and jumping and dancing and probably yelling "Woooo!"
"My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. Now I'm free!. . . .
Sin has lost its power
Death has lost its sting. . . .
Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way"
Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall
By the way, Steelers, win one for us tonight!