Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Dear Friend...

The last few days have been extremely difficult.  How do you put into words, feelings so deep there seem to be none that exist?  There is a wrestling of deep pain and deep joy that are intertwined within me.  This is putting my brain in to a state of confusion and deep longing to at least try and understand what just happened.  But is that even possible?  Can human sense be made out of what seems to be a huge injustice?  One of the most beautiful souls I've ever known wakes up one day with cancer and is gone within three months...  A woman whose whole life was to love others, lead people through healing, and bring heaven to earth wherever she went...  A sister and friend who cared deeply, loved passionately, and dreamed bigger dreams for others to encounter the healing power of Christ...  Gone, in the blink of an eye. Ummm, what?!

My mind screams that this is not ok! NOT OK!!!

And I know it's ok to be angry because I miss her SO MUCH!

But I'm not here to answer the questions of suffering in this world.  I know what I believe because of my own journey, and that is something of a heart knowledge to attain, not a head knowledge.  If you would like to journey into such matters, let me share what has helped me:

"The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding." Proverbs 9:10 AMP.

In fact, there's a great sermon on it by Mark:

Like I said, though, I'm not trying to tackle heavy theological questions today.  I don't even have the energy for that.  Right now, all I can do is choose what I will focus on while letting go of what was.  I think it's a great temptation to focus on everything that's been taken.  I've already been to four memorial services this year, with a fifth now coming, accompanied by more devastating news of a loved one in my life.  The temptation is great with so much loss.

But the quote that plays again and again in my head is from the movie based on CS Lewis' Narnia book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  King Caspian has spent all of his time, energy, and resources chasing after what had been taken from him (especially his father).  When he reaches the shores of Aslan's country and given the choice to enter in and see his father again, he has an epiphany that is most applicable.

"I've spent too long wanting what was taken from me and not what was given.  I was given a kingdom... people... I promise to be a better king."

Our dearest friend and sister, Rebecca, going home, especially in the time and manner she did, feels wrong.  But that cannot be my focus, our focus.  Instead, she brought heaven to earth and each of us were given a piece of that.

What piece of heaven did she give you?  Faith?  Joy?  Courage?  Courage to trust?  Wisdom?  Patience?  Comfort?  Rest?  Love?  Peace?  Compassion?  Strength?  Hope?  All of the above?

Whatever we've been given from her, that is what we need to focus on, steward, multiply, and then give away.  Expand heaven on earth from what piece of it she has given to you and me!  I think I can say with confidence that this is exactly what she would want.

My dear friend,

Thank you!  Thank you for your love and your friendship.  Thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams with me, and gladly listening to mine.  Thank you for the deep conversations and the great laughs.  Thank you for your encouragement.  Thank you for being a constant bright light of Jesus in this dark and broken world.  I miss you terribly!!  In this pain, though, I thank you for leading me to a deeper understanding, at the core of my being, of the power of resurrection life!

Until we meet again...

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