Tuesday is the day that we always took my parents out for a ride, picked up a lunch of Chick Fil A and came home to eat it and then watch the afternoon Western Channel, today was not easy for us. We carried on our normal Tuesday activities with our mother but she was very quiet and daddy’s empty vehicle, still strapped in my van, a silent reminder that he is no longer with us. As I thought about how we have to carry on I remembered an article I wrote after a dear friend died and thought it was appropriate to re-post it today. Life may go on but I have not forgotten my friend and I will always remember and hold my daddy close to my heart.
Sunday morning I went to church, as usual. It was pouring rain and I had a hard time raising my umbrella, needless to say I was pretty wet as I went in and took my seat. There was singing, announcements and a sermon, as usual. I went home and put the dinner on the table that I had started at 5:30 AM, and as usual, I looked to see what time the Braves were playing and turned on the Falcons. But as I did it there was the nagging knowledge in the back of my mind of something I was trying hard not to think of. Friday night, many years ago, I was leading the Friday night prayer meeting and a lady, normally right on time, came in late looking flushed, beads of sweat standing on her forehead and upper lip. At the end of the service I asked her if anything was wrong. Seems that her husband had taken the wheels off her car so that she wouldn’t have a way to come to prayer and she walked! Overweight and in her sixties this was not something she should have done, but she wanted to be there, for herself and for me. She put her loving arms around me and prayed for me to gain strength. Fast-forward a few years: Her husband came to church and gave his heart to the Lord, became an usher and was just the nicest guy you ever met. He had been in General Patton’s Platoon WW11 and had suffered injuries that affected him physically and mentally; he died not long after this startling change in his life. Soon she was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid and underwent radiation. We prayed for her, unwilling to give her up and she went into total remission. That has been twenty years. This morning at 3AM, this saint went home to join the Cloud of Witnesses; she is now pain and cancer free she has a new body. The way I see it, she had a twenty-year extension to her life and she lived it to the full. She was at church every time the doors were opened and still supported me with those loving arms and prayers, even though I am no longer the one leading the prayers. She had a group of friends that she had Bible studies and lunches out and get-togethers with, and lived in a beautiful home and even though she had five daughters and one son she lived alone, independent of them all! She went to heaven this morning and life went on for the rest of us, as usual. To her, being absent from the body means being present with the Lord, as the Apostle Paul said. In thinking of death, we tend to be scared, upset, dreading, so I am putting some scriptures here to put it in the Lord’s perspective, read them and think on these things! Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints. Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death.
Luke 16:22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. What stands out in these scriptures? Precious, if we are His saints, Refuge, a safe haven for us if we are righteous, we are carried by the angels to His side and the wicked man is not! None of us are looking forward to the day we or any of our loved ones die, but know that God will help if you have lost someone close to you. There were no news specials or stars holding memorial concerts, no Tee shirts with her picture on them, but I will miss my friend. The last time I went in to see her, I was on my way to prayer meeting on Friday evening. I told her that I wanted to come by and thank her for her years of being loyal not only to the Lord, but to me, for loving me. We sang Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art and a chorus of Alleluia, I read Matthew 18:18-20 and we prayed. Be blessed, pray, say I love you to someone you love today.