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A few days ago, the mother of a dear friend died. From this friend (the closest I have in this life to a sister), I’ve learned what love looks like. I have learned how to love better and more. And from her, I now am learning something else: how to mourn with one who has walked long with God.

There is a Jewish prayer called the Kaddish. When a parent dies, it is said everyday for 11 months in the company of others. My friend who follows Jesus is praying a version of this prayer. And while we live about as far as the East is from the West on this continent, I am praying it with her. It is posted about my house and I pause when I come across it to lift the words to God.

I find it an incredibly poignant prayer to say in the wake of loss. It makes no mention of death at all but instead praises God. I find it a beautiful way to grow in love and trust of him, to remember and grow deep in the truth that he is good and love and abundant. I’ve prayed the ancient prayer but a short time, yet I find it has also increased my love for my dear sister. But then, I think that’s how God works, drawing us in love to him and in love to others. Love God and love others, the greatest of commandments, the Jesus Creed.

Yet even in this he is the One who gives, the One who provides. We love because we are loved first. And we are loved. Loved. Loved.

Oh, it is good to walk with those who’ve walked long with God. It is good to walk with God.

a version of the Kaddish

Exalted and sanctified is God’s great name in the world which He has created according to His will, and may He establish His kingdom, may his salvation blossom and his anointed near in your lifetime and your days and in the lifetimes of all the House of Israel speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorifed and exalted, extolled and honored, elevated and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He beyond far beyond all blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are spoken in the world; and say Amen.

Let them be accepted: the prayers and supplications of the entire House of Israel before their Father in Heaven; and say, Amen.

May there be much peace from Heaven, and good life and satiety, and salvation, and comfort, and saving and healing and redemption and forgiveness and atonement and relief and deliverance for us and for all his people Israel; and say, Amen.

He who makes peace in His heights may He in his mercy make peace upon us and upon all his nation Israel; and say, Amen.

(Image: "Gone Elsewhere" by me, taken in memory of my friend's mother)