The last few days have been gloomy indeed on this wonderful farm I call home. An overcast sky, frequent rain and cold temps echo the heaviness of my heart as my dad lays dying in Houston. I spent 4 days visiting his bedside while he was still pretty lucid. What a treasure that time is to me!
Every day we got to say I love you. We held hands, talked about Jesus and his overall concern was whether I (and my sisters) would be ok. He talked about dying as if it were a business merger and wondered how I would cast my vote. If I had my druthers I would vote for him to stay but what I wanted most for him was peace, to be free of pain and surrounded by love.
You see, I know I will see my dad again. Not only will I see him again but I will get to spend eternity with him! I know my dad knows Jesus. He doesn’t just know of Him but he knows Him! There is a difference! Lots of people say they are Christians or that they know Jesus but many don’t actually have a relationship with Him. I was one of those people until I was 34 years old. Raised in the church I knew all the right words to say and called myself a Christian. However, those words did not fill the emptiness inside my heart 20+ years ago. Jesus did. I surrendered to Him on my knees on the floor of my bedroom and I’ve never been the same since.*
My dad used to say, “you know how Paul had an experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus? Well, I had mine on the road to Vicksburg. It’s all about love. First Corinthians 13 – the greatest is love!”
Right on Dad!
My dad may not have been outspoken about his faith but I knew it was there. It has made this whole process of him dying slightly easier to bear especially since I am so far away. I am comforted picturing him in heaven, reunited with his family and giving them the low down on the last few decades! Most importantly, I know he is free! Free from the confines of a pain wracked body. Free from the fear of falling and not being able to get up. Free from the worry and strife of life on earth. Free to worship the Most High God in spirit and in truth!
Rock on Dad!
For me though, I would like to bring back the custom of attire to indicate mourning. A simple black armband would suffice. Not to call attention to myself but to let people know I may not be functioning at full capacity as I walk through the grief. My mind seems to wander and my eyes overflow unexpectedly.
How my heart goes out to those who have not had time to prepare or who don’t know Jesus.
I sob even more.
Thankful for the grace that provided the time to say goodbye and thank-you and I love you.
See you on the other side, Dad!
*The ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus (John 14:6). We don’t get to put qualifications on it or design an alternate path to heaven. If you don’t know Jesus you don’t get in. Click here for more.