One day last week I attended a funeral for a young man. He was almost 50 and had a fatal heart attack. I was doing alright until the mom and her five children walked in and occupied the whole front pew..He was a believer in Christ and now resides in Heaven. God's grace covered them all, it was blatantly obvious.
Fast forward to Monday, and I was given a quotation. I have read many things since Steve's death on loss, grieving, Heaven, comfort and suffering. Looking back, there are a scant handful that truly helped me gain the perspective I desperately needed. Even "christian" articles and books treated grieving as something you recover from, eventually. When I say grieving, I am speaking to the catastrophic type of event which alters your life permanently...a terminal illness, death of a loved one, betrayal--huge, pain filled, heart shattering events.
Lately, I find myself like a sponge, soaking up the wisdom presented in these books/articles/quotations because they are focusing on my response to all this pain--what do I do with it? How do I bring glory to God through it? How does God see me through it?
These are my favorite few:
Jerry Sittser's book A Grace Disguised: how the soul grows through loss,
The Bible, especially the Psalms
John Piper's little booklet entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer"
A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada
and I don't have it yet, but have heard that Steven Curtis Chapman's wife, Mary Beth, wrote a book entitled "Choosing to See" I want to read it over Christmas break.
And this quotation I am sharing with you now..
The woman who gave me this is 6 tender months into her grief. Her husband and father of 3, died tragically one spring day..she loves Jesus Christ with every broken piece of her heart and she was SO excited to share this with me (she knows about Steve's death)
Read it as if the person you miss so is speaking to you.
"Death is nothing at all--I have only slipped away into the next room. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Laugh as we always laughed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval. Somewhere, very near just around the corner. All is well; nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before, only better, infinitely happier and forever. We will, all be one together with Christ!
A passage from the Carmelite monastery in Tallow County Waterford, Ireland
There is hope in Christ, not only is this life we live but in the life to come!
Here is defined by a line seperating our date of birth and our date of death, on our grave marker. Here, we are to live as Christ, to bring glory to God with our brief lives.
Eternity has no measure. It simply is. We will be in God's presence, beholding His glory and we will see Him face to face..it gives me goosebumps...
Thank You Lord for giving me hope,