Now I on the other hand, have no sense of rhythm. Although I appreciate music, I have no idea what's what as far as notes are concerned, and the understanding of instruments and beats seem to go right over my head. Jay thought this was funny and he felt strongly that if I just paid attention to his teachings I would be able to learn how to "feel" the music. This seemed a lost cause to me as it was simply a language I didn't understand.
One day while driving in the car he started to beat on his "drum set" in his usual way, only this time I was holding his hand and I didn't let go. This wasn't the first time this had ever happened but for some reason on this particular occasion I thought to let his hand guide me through the beats. It was kind of like when you put your fingers on one of those automatic pianos and you actually feel like you can play Beethoven for a minute. I was able to feel the music through Jay in a way I had never felt it before and what can I say, I felt like a rock star!
When I told Jay about this he got so excited that he started doing it regularly. I'd actually get excited whenever he'd reach over to take my hand knowing that he was going to start teaching me how to feel each beat. He would try explaining the different instruments to me but I still didn't get it--and it really didn't matter. It was something we enjoyed doing because it made us feel connected.
In this last year of Jay's life, his music genre narrowed down quite a bit. He mostly listened to Jars of clay, Needtobreathe, Bebo Norman; basically just worship. He had it playing in the morning when he woke up, and at night when we'd go to bed and in all the hours in between. Looking back, it blesses me to see how much his heart was worshiping and praising God.
One of his favorite worship songs was by David Crowder Band called How He Loves. I remember so clearly the day Jay told me that he wanted me to hear this song. He played it for me and as we listened to it, he became emotional. He talked about how the song made him feel, and I could see that he felt so humbled at the thought of a Father who loves him with such depth. I remember thinking, 'wow, I love this song too but I don't get moved like that.' He often played it in the mornings as he'd be getting ready for the day and he loved singing it out loud. Jay loved to sing in the shower. I can still see him squinting his eyes and buckling at the knees as he passionately sang through the chorus. It's a visual I'll always have and always cherish.
One day after Jay went home to be with the Lord, I was standing in my room by the shower and the song How He Loves came on. For a minute I became overwhelmed. It reminded me of Jay, and with that came the sting I often feel because he's no longer here. But all of a sudden, the sting was gone and I found myself in a much different place. I found myself in the presence of God as I became lost in that moment of worship; I became lost in His deep love for me. As I closed my eyes I could see Jay's hand on mine as he carried me through each note teaching me how to feel what I needed to feel, and what I felt was God.
I'm so grateful that I can still feel Jay in the depths of my soul--where he continues to take hold of my hand-- and where our marriage continues to teach me the deeper truths of God's perfect love.
God is so good... and oh how he loves us.