Saturday, 18 April 2015

Letting go...

This is a season, for me, of long distance grief. A friend who lives thousands of miles away is in the last few days of her life, as her dear husband and family and friends accompany her on the last steps of her journey to heaven. I know she will be with Jesus soon, but, I regret to acknowledge, that barely lessens the pain.

Indeed, I almost feel guilty. As if the 'joy set before' her should obliterate the pain of suffering and all that accompanies dying.

It doesn't. While death itself holds no fear for a Christian, it is the process of getting there that is so painful for us all, dying or living. As Woody Allen said: “I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.”

(And I wonder if more has been written about death - the only certainty in life - than about anything else except, perhaps, love, which is the most important thing in life. Because Jesus IS love.)

I am far away. Lyn is - was, perhaps, even as I write - a dear friend who reached out to all who knew her with love. I didn't know her well enough, close enough, dearly enough to comprehend the completeness of her love, but feel privileged to be journeying with her, albeit at a distance, in these last times of her life on earth.

But it hurts. And if it hurts for me, I can not even BEGIN to imagine how it hurts for her beloved husband and family.

And once again, I live, uncomfortably, with the reminder that life on earth is temporary. 
I live with fear and apprehension.
Fear of loss.
Fear of suffering.
Fear of grief.

i have not fully grasped the 'joy set before' me.

So I know that, in fact, the only way out is to pursue knowing and loving God. It is only in the struggle and the rest and the silence and the talking that I can begin to grasp how 'wide and long and high and deep' is Christ's love for me and mine and all those others.

As Whitney says: "We crave happy. He craves holy."

I need to keep a perspective. That death is not a 'storm of life'. It is not trouble that comes when we don't expect it, a difficulty to surmount or work through.

Death is an inevitability, to be accepted, planned for, embraced.

Life is to be lived in preparation for death.

And so I know - oh how I KNOW - that Lyn has done this. I think of others who have gone before and shown the way, too.

And I am encouraged to "Run to God’s Word. Look for opportunities to see God at work. Pray, expecting to hear from heaven. Tell about God’s faithfulness. Commit to the process, knowing that He who started a good work in you will be faithful to complete it…"

I am still puzzled as to how we can hold pain and joy in our hearts simultaneously. Bittersweet does not even come near it.
I fear to write a comment on Lyn's facebook page - who knows which words will be helpful and which will cause more harm?
All I can do is pray for comfort and ease and close encounter with our Lord.

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