Last weekend brought news of two people in our circle whose earthly lives ended: one due to a lost battle with addiction, and one due to a lost battle with cancer. Both had professed faith in Christ, but the pain exhibited by their loved ones was real – and raw.
We arrived at the funeral home for the first one, who was a brother of my sister-in-law so we saw him from time to time over the years. We celebrated his faith and we prayed as he struggled. That morning, my sister-in-law tearfully asked my husband if he could do the memorial service. Of course, he said. Chuck shared words of comfort and hope, then opened the floor to family and friends. A young nephew got up and shared a powerful, faith-filled message and a call to anyone in the room who was ready, to accept Jesus as lord and savior. Beautiful.
The following evening we went to the apartment complex where we’ve been ministering for over 3 years, connected by a woman of faith who was living with terminal cancer. Given a few months, she lived those 3 years and spent only 2 days in the hospital before passing peacefully. She was a woman of prayer, of hospitality, and kindness. We went to pray with the family, to share in their moment of loss and to remind ourselves that she is now healthy, happy and whole with her Lord. Beautiful.
For some of the family and friends of these two believers, all they can see right now is good bye. We will stay connected to help them come to the realization that good bye can turn to “see you soon.” Hope can overtake the emptiness left when a loved one is no longer present.
Arriving at work on Monday morning, my dear coworker asked me the customary question: how was your weekend? I looked at her, paused, and said: There was great loss, but also great hope, so it was good! God was truly present!
Doug and Mel, we will see you soon.