Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lent Day 28: Life and death

I've just come back from a funeral. It's a two and a half hour drive to Chilliwack, BC, if the border is friendly. The guards waved me through with little hassle when they found I was at a funeral. But I was over an hour late to the service, arriving just as the family was at the exit door, leaving the service. At least I got to join the graveside service, before a wonderful German lunch. Ohhhhh. Those pastries!

Why so late? My passport had fallen through the back of the storage drawer: I didn't find until I'd ransacked every possible hiding place... for an hour and a half. My shoes were on, coat and handbag sat in the car. The tea thermos waited between the seats. I wasn't too put out because I was planning to spend my day in travel; regardless of outcome, the day didn't belong to me. It was nice to find the little blue passport lying in the trough under the drawer. We travel quite a bit, so what I don't find today I have to search for on another day.

Tante Friedel was in her 80s, released from suffering. We celebrated a life well-lived with her husband, children, and grandchildren. I enjoyed the quick visit with old friends. Everyone's face is showing wear and tear, like my own face. Friends' kids are the age we were when we left town for Seattle. The people who were in their prime 40s are in their late 60s or 70s.

I was reminded that when we're dead, other people decide what they want to do at our memorials. They disburse our stuff without looking back. You can't always choose the time you go home, either. My husband's great-aunt is 104, and has talked about dying for at least eight years. She is sad that my father-in-law and her son went to heaven before her. She wonders, "Why has God taken them, and I am still here?" Her mind is sharp, but her hearing is gone, limiting interactions with others.

Every day is precious, not to be regained or relived. We accept our lifetime in God's schedule and from his hands. There's no fear in facing the transition to the next life. Perhaps eternity will mean we get to redo what we'd like to revisit. (Or maybe eternity is only progressive rather than cyclical.) I don't understand "forever" but know this time on earth is our gift. God lets us choose to love him, whether in life or death.

THAT makes me happy. Soul happy, on a day of au revoir and Auf Widersehen.

Read more:

*But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Psalm 49:15 NLT

*Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13 NIV

*Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:4-8 NIV

No comments:

Post a Comment