READ : Isaiah 25:1-8
Last night I said good-bye to my friend. I squeezed her hand as hard as I dared, and then let go. We both knew her life here was about over. I kissed her cheek; we cried and were comforted. We parted with: “See you next time.” We had spent the past several weeks remembering, almost renewing, our childhood. She liked to recall our “long” walks to the corner, carrying our peanut butter sandwiches for the trip. She accused me again, and rightly so, of hiding from her in Kresge’s Five and Dime. We shook our heads at our foolish recklessness in jumping out of a boat in the middle of the lake to swim to shore. Remembering helped return some past to the present, making life seem a bit longer. We were mourning.
We shared new thoughts, her present pain, hopes and fears, her peace with God. She was so accepting of the fact that her life was ending, so thankful for husband, children, family and friends. I had never heard her speak of Jesus as she did now, complete trust in spite of pain, her body did not matter. It was as if she already was putting on a new one. She had no regrets about the brevity of her life. She was thankful for the years she had. Some of this is a mystery to me.
I am thankful God has prepared a place for all who belong to Him. I am thankful for friendships where we can laugh and cry, and all the stuff in between.
Thank You, risen Christ, that there is no end for Christians, only eternal beginnings. Amen and Amen.