The writing world said good-bye to a shining light this week. Author Kristy Dykes went home ahead of us left here. While we're glad she's not suffering anymore, we grieve for those she left behind. That "blessed hope" we share must help carry us in the midst of pain. If you click on the link above, you'll read her husband Milton's account of her homegoing as he held her hand right until she stepped through Heaven's door. Have the tissues handy, pray for Milton and his family, and then go hug your loved ones and cherish all those ordinary moments that pass too quickly.
In the last ten months, loss and grief have circled around my family and friends, like two hungry sharks in the ocean. In September I watched a lively, vibrant friend leave this life after suffering a similar illness to Kristy. In October, I held my brother-in-law's hand as he stood next to Heaven's door and I had a glimpse inside before he left us two nights later. This spring I IM'ed and wept with another dear friend and author who lost her daughter. In June I heard the phone ring and then listened to someone tell me about a friend's untimely needless death, and just this month, I've cried on the phone with another good friend who's suddenly found himself alone in the world. And sometimes I feel unable to handle the smothering grief. I find myself running to the "Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief," asking Him to help us all, because I can't carry the pain of those I love.
Because how do we NOT sorrow like those who have no hope? Sorrow is pain. It forces us to rearrange our lives, knowing that the one we love has been shuffled to memory. In our human-ness and frailty, we want the ones we love to stay close, to never leave, to never part from us.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and to get and do good as long as they live; And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor anything taken from it. And God does it so that men will [reverently] fear Him [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is].
Eternity is planted in our hearts. Lots of us don't know that or think about it very much, but it's true. We have an innate longing for home. We have so much "busy work" on this planet, but when we find loss and grief circling us, it turns our hearts toward eternity. Eternity is what fills us with hope while we grieve and healing takes place.
So, Kristy, Carla, Jolene, Eddie, and Joanne, we'll see you--soon. Like Aslan says: "I call all times soon."