(photo credit: timesdispatch.com)
At least 90% of the time, I write this blog from my rocking chair in my living room. It is my place to meet with God each morning, consume much coffee, and be inspired. I’m working on getting my home office/man cave set up where I can work/write/record for long, uninterrupted periods of time, but the mornings will still begin in the rocking chair.
I've occasionally written from other places like church parking lots, coffee shops (coffee = necessary writing tool), and even waiting in line for the ferry to Vancouver Island. Today it is the table in my dad’s dining room.
God came and took our Thingy (my stepmother: Life Matters, April 7) to be with Him early last Thursday morning. We celebrated her life with memorial services, conversations, food, friends, and music for all of this past weekend. Now that most everyone has gone home, Mrs. Sweetie and I decided to stay for a few more days and help Dad out with some things.
When I spoke at Thingy’s memorial service Saturday afternoon, I referenced a passage from Psalm 116. The New Living Translation of verses 15-16 says, “The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die. O Lord, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains.” [emphasis mine]
While meditating on those verses a couple of weeks back, it occurred to me that Thingy was about to be released from the chains of cancer, MS, and the wheelchair that has been her constant means of transportation for 20 years.
As I shared those thoughts, I reminded those gathered that we should never say that she lost her battle with cancer. Cancer did everything it could. It took her final breath at 12:50 a.m. Thursday morning. But since she is now more alive than she has ever been, cancer has walked away the loser. Thingy was quite the athlete in her day and softball was one of her specialties. I told them that, on Thursday morning, she slid head-first into home plate and God shouted, “Safe!” Then she stood up, Jesus dusted her off, and she ran a victory lap around the bases. Completely. Ultimately. Healed.
I share that thought today for a couple of reasons. One is that I have chronicled my journey with her illness in my column and blog writing for the past several weeks--partly as my therapy and partly to share with you what God has been teaching me—and we all needed to write the closing paragraphs on this chapter.
Another reason is that I suspect someone (or several someone’s) reading this may be walking through some difficult days with one of your loved ones. Our lives matter so much to God that He wants us to see the big picture. He wants us to see that those who belong to Him do not lose in death.
The chains are gone … Safe!
Question: What do you need so that you can see the death of a loved one as a victory?
Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.