Love for LIFE

Happy Valentine’s Day, Kids!

You probably looked at the picture and assumed that the title is a reminder of your vow to love your spouse “until death do us part.” Actually, I meant for it to convey the idea of cultivating a love for LIFE (remember my acronym, “Loving Into Fearless Eternity,” from the “Back to LIFE” journal entry). I came up with the idea for the title from a sermon I heard a long time ago, “The Most Important Bible Passage For Your Marriage.”

The verse is Phillipians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

If we demonstrate our love for God by our obedience to His commands, we can begin to cultivate a love for LIFE. And, in the context of marriage, I believe that obedience to this specific command will result in keeping your vow to love your spouse “until death do us part.”

And, now for the picture search. I found this one of Rory Feek sitting beside his wife’s grave. Joey passed away five years ago, two weeks after Valentine’s Day. This past Friday, Rory uploaded another music video, “Me and the Blues,” to his YouTube channel. He explained in a blog post, “my valentine,” that the video is his Valentine’s gift to her.

Enjoy (with tissues ready)!

Check it out, “Me and the Blues,” by Rory Feek (with Vince Gill):

[I updated this journal entry with subsequent events to tell the rest of the story.]

I went to Rory’s Barn Revival Concert the night that Gaither Productions was taping the show for an upcoming TV broadcast. That night, Rory sang the songs on his new album, “Gentle Man.” It is his first album since losing Joey. The last song he sang was “One Angel,” and he shared the story behind the song.

“This song is the reason I made this record. It said something that I really felt needed to be shared. It has an honesty and a truth in it that needs to be told. It was written by Joey’s friend, Sandy Lawrence.”

“Sandy and Joey worked at a horse vet clinic years and years ago and they stayed friends ever since. We even recorded one of Sandy’s songs in the fall of 2011. It was a beautiful song that she had written to help deal with her mother’s passing. We even made a music video for it here at the farm with Joey in a pretty black dress singing right over there [pointing to the stage].”

“In the video, we pretended that Joey was buried in the cemetary behind our farm house, and I was having to go on living here in the farm house without her. A few years later, I would find myself sitting in the same exact spot, only this time, I wasn’t pretending. They call it, “life imitating art,” I think. Maybe; I call it God. He knew, somehow, that one day those words would mean so much to me and to our girls and to so many other people all around the world.”

“Sandy was just writing a song about her momma, but God had a much, much bigger plan for it.”

Check it out, “When I’m Gone,” by Joey Feek:

“And so a year or so after Joey passed away, Sandy sent me another song. She sent it in an e-mail, and all the e-mail said was, “I had to get this song out of me to come to peace with the loss of my friend.”

“Now, Sandy doesn’t have the same faith that Joey did. When she was angry, and more than a little frustrated in the outcome of all the chemo and the radiation and even the prayers, and as all great writers do, she put that frustration down in a song. Country music legend, Harland Howard, used to say that country music is three chords and the truth, sometimes, even when the truth hurts.”

“A few weeks ago, Sandy’s husband, Jack, saddled his horse and came and paid his respects to my pretty bride. Jack’s face, Sandy’s words, my voice, and one angel.”

Check it out, “One Angel,” by Rory Feek (with Dolly Parton):

Check out the making of the music video, “When I’m Gone”: