Many times I come to write a Post on here and cannot decide on the words, or even the topic. It’s hard to know where to start and what to say. I need my One Star Picket to lean on, as today I feel empty, yet full.
During this past week a friend of mine lay dying in a palliative care unit. Her family knew that in a few days she’d be called away to meet her Lord. We prayed for them and especially for her husband. Now he’s alone with his memories of their life together. Now he knows the answer to the question many couples ask as they approach the later years of their marriage: ‘Which of us will be the first to go?’
We went to Thelma’s funeral and listened while her children, her grandchildren, and her husband related their memories of her. A passionate, kind and loving lady; even an hilarious one. (It’s permissible to laugh at a funeral!) And we also heard how she’d carried her faith in God all along the way since she was a ten-year-old girl, allowing him to guide her in every area of her life.
Two of her favourite passages from the Bible were read. One was from Psalm 23 : 5, 6 – You prepare a banquet for me… you welcome me as an honoured guest, and fill my cup to the brim. I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life; and your house will be my home as long as I live. What a promise!
Then we turned to Romans 5 for some more words that Thelma loved, and lived by.
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…and so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! … We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life!
But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.
God made a way to save all mankind! Thelma knew this wonderful experience wasn’t only for herself; she wanted to share it, and she did; in her own way!
I’d been Thelma’s prayer partner and knew how much she loved her family and other people, but I didn’t know until yesterday how she’d reached out to so many. Of course, someone like that doesn’t brag about it. Her prayers were never about things; they were for people – personal, relational and motivated by love.
Regardless of our own beliefs about the order of things beyond death, I believe she hasn’t stopped being in God’s care now her body is buried. Her spirit is in touch with her Lord. She’s been with him for all these nearly seventy years, and she still is! Illness and pain no longer affect her in the way they did while her body lingered. She’s now free to sing and dance without encumbrance … in God’s home!
One story that was repeated several times during Thelma’s funeral was about the time she paraded through a restaurant dressed in a large strawberry outfit! It didn’t bother her that people were staring – she was entertaining her family! And having fun.
As I listened to these stories of her exploits here on the earth, I was encouraged to be myself more and more. Thelma always allowed herself to let go! Now she’ll really be able to let go completely!! I wonder if they have any strawberry outfits in heaven!!