"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

03 July 2016

Lest You Sorrow as Others Who Have No Hope

I Thess. 4:  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

A friend died tonight.  I hadn't seen her in years, true, and we'd only connected a little on Facebook in the past couple of years.  But she was a friend.  We were in the same church many years ago when I was a young married with a couple of little ones and when she met and married a wonderful young man.  She was diagnosed at that time with MS, and the years have been tough for them.  But they had a family and they had plenty of love and laughter, and they had joy, much joy -- so appropriate because her name is Joy.  She had been in a home recently because it had become too physically difficult for Scott to fully care for her, and in the hospital, and I'm not close enough now that I knew any of the details of these times.

But there was that time we knew each other, and that one conversation I've always remembered.  Not the substance, but the knowing that here could be a heart sister, a kindred spirit.  And so although I've not been part of her life for most of it, I still think of her as a friend, a special friend, in fact, and I am intensely grateful that I knew her even for a while, and that I knew always that her joy was infecting the world with His love every day, and that she was being loved by a faithful man and a deeply caring family.  

I ache for them tonight; their loss is great.  I pray for comfort in their sorrow, for sweet memories to lace the grief of loss.  But I rejoice for Joy, who is whole and well and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord she loved and served.  And I rejoice that Scott and those who have loved her will see her again -- and that even I will see her again and with all eternity to fulfill the promise of that conversation nearly 40 years ago.  

Love and prayers to you, Judy, and Scott, and all Joy's family and friends.