I’m sure there are those who might read this who would question the appropriateness of writing about something as deeply personal as the death of a loved one, especially since it has only been in the last hour that I was told that mama’s doctor told my dad that she was “at the end of her life” and that he would do all he could to make her comfortable. That it might take two weeks, maybe a little longer, until she leaves this life and begins her next one in Heaven. I’ve always been one to be transparent regarding my feelings. Good and bad, happy and sad. I find comfort in knowing that someone else cares enough to say “I’m praying for you” or “Is there anything I can do to help?” When I went through a difficult divorce 17 years ago, on particularly tough days, I would write long letters to no one in particular detailing how I might be struggling or hurting on that day. I suppose I never really intended to give them to anyone but I always felt relieved of some measure of pain on those days when pen met paper. Technology now affords me the opportunity to do both on this blog. If you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to share with you my thoughts and feelings on this difficult, yet strangely peaceful, day.
Strangely peaceful is not how I expected this day to be. I’ve played it in my head many times over the years. I’m a worrier and I’m good at it so I’ve thought about it a lot. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sad. There are tears and it’s hard to see the words I’m typing but somehow there is a peace in my soul. Some may say that it’s because I’ve been preparing myself for this day for years. Maybe I have but at this point, as I consider the reality before me, I can honestly say that there is nothing that this world can offer than can prepare you to hear the words that my father, and in turn, my sisters and I, heard this morning. There is, however, someone who exists supernaturally beyond the barriers of this world who is more than able to provide comfort. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, in chapter four, Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to pray about everything and that “…the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” You may or may not choose to believe that. I’ve heard that passage read and spoken of my whole life and I’m not sure how confident I was that when I really needed it that that kind of peace would really be available.
I can’t explain it any more than I can explain quarks and neutrons or how gravity keeps us from flying off of this rock and out into the darkest recesses of this massive universe. All I know is that I feel it and the only explanation I can come up with is exactly what, or who, Paul said was the source of it. God. It’s as real as the Barber nose on my face.
There will be harder days to come, I know. There’ll be holidays and birthdays and other times when mama’s absence will be painfully real. But even as we prepare for mama’s great home-going, I know that we don’t have to be afraid. That we don’t have to trudge through life without hope. If this peace is real, then the God who gives it is real. If God is real, then His promises in His word are true. If His promises are true then I know that the rest of this life will be like only a day when compared to eternity in Heaven where my mama can walk again. Where she can remember all the good things again. And where we’ll be reunited with her again forever. Life is hard but God is faithful and I believe it. Today, perhaps more than any day before.