Friday, September 1

The end?

Last night was a sad day for my wife's family. Her grandmother passed away. We had watched her deteriorate over last year, and so it wasn't really a surprise. And over the last few weeks, the question has really been when, not if, the end was coming. The call came last night that she was almost gone, so we headed down to the southern suburbs. When we got there, we found that the room in the nursing home was full of family and friends.

It's a strange mix of sadness and happiness and relief. The family is obviously sad. A mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend is gone. And that leaves a hole in the heart of the people who loved her. At the same time, there is the knowledge that she is with Jesus. So she is in a much better place today, and someday we will be able to see her again. And there is also relief. She has been in pain and distress, and so by passing on, all of that is over. She isn't suffering any more.

On the way back home, my wife and I were talking about how, in the moment when a loved one is about to pass on, you get a picture into the depth of the faith of the people around. You get to see who really believes that there is something to look forward to after this life. You can see who is assured that they will see their loved one again. But in that moment you can also see if someone thinks that this is it, that there is nothing else. For the person who believes that this life is all you get, any death is tragic. On the other hand, when you know are certain of your faith, you know that death means only a temporary goodbye.

Being a follower of Christ isn't simply about getting your ticket to heaven so you can be part of the next world. For Christians who think that way, they are missing a big part of what it is that Jesus wants us to do. But the promise of life together in the future is part of what Christ offers. There is more after this life is over. That fact takes the sting out of death. A time is coming when we will get to see Grandma again, and this time she'll be healthy again.

1 comment:

Tigpan said...

Praying for you Cheryl!