Time (Here) Moves On. So Will I.

020It had to be done. It was past time. I was tired of looking at the snow in the picture, a regular reminder of the lingering winter. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, until today, when the possibility of spring seemed real again.

Before I made the change, though, I wanted to reach out and rub those fuzzy ears one more time, even with the snow wetting them. I wanted to grab that face and put mine next to it, despite his preference never to be face-to-face, just one more time.

But it was only a picture, and it was time to move on. Time to replace the snow with brightly colored flowers, jump-starting hopes of soon-coming spring.

Sandy, owner of the fuzzy ears . . . I will never move past him completely, but I can move on. I’ve done fairly well since saying good-bye two months ago, mostly. Other times, when I remember his odd ways – so dear to me – the jab in my heart always leads to my sighed, “Oh, Sandy.”

His are not the only thoughts eliciting pain these days. Similar emotions arise for my dear friend, Ruth, who passed away a month ago. Though I always considered this elderly woman special, not having her to talk to or visit has shined a light on the brightness of this treasure. I miss her so, yet I would not bring her back for one second, even if I could. The constant, unrelenting pain she endured, only slightly dulled by medication, left me interceding for relief and release for her after every visit and phone call.

What am I to do with this emotional pain? Move on, though tears may flow. Consider the physical freedom Ruth is now experiencing, no longer hindered by a feeble and diseased mortal body. Picture both of her eyes clear and twinkling, while listening to her wonderful laughter no longer tinged with pain. Then I imagine her running and dancing with so many people who have gone home ahead of me. Watch her as she loves on each one needing a little encouragement (if that happens in heaven!) In this place, sadness is painted over with thankfulness that Ruth was part of my life. And I smile.

Sandy 082513 002If there’s such a thing as doggie heaven, Sandy is running full of strength and stamina, all four legs cooperating. Occasionally he picks up a towel left within reach, tosses it about before prancing from tree to tree, towel dangling from his mouth, so pleased with himself. That, of course, is before he opens any closed door within sight, or sits in the shade on a sunny spring day, his shiny golden fur in sharp contrast to the deep green grass. His eyes smile constantly, as they did so often when he was here. I, too, smile.

Yes, it’s time. And I’m moving on. Thank You, Lord, for Your infinite ways of healing.

I Know Who

It would have been my dad’s 91st birthday, eight years after he had moved on to heaven.  As I thought about him that morning, I realized it was no longer sadness I felt, but anticipation of being with him again – in heaven.  It wasn’t the first time for that thought, but where it took me was so much better than what I had glimpsed before.

birthday candlesI used to imagine the two of us catching up on what we’ve done since he moved on.  What an earthly view that was.  Even in the best of times here, there is some sort of pain involved – whether emotional or physical, great or small – because we are still in the flesh.  How much better the heavenly view!  This time, the only communication between my dad and me was the almost tangible love of Christ between us and around us.  It was, essentially, the air we breathed, and it required no words.  There was no comparison between the love we shared on earth and this greater, more all-consuming love of Christ.

With a slight turn of attention, I experienced that same love, unhindered by anything mortal, surrounding my mother and filling the space between the two of us, as well.  Despite all the struggles in our earthly relationship, the love of Christ connecting us in heaven was of the same magnitude for her as for my father.  All earthly walls between us were non-existent, and only Christ and His love remained.  What a joyous reunion!

As if that wasn’t enough, I then became aware of His love surrounding and connecting me with others in the body of Christ for whom I have not felt love on earth (understatement :-)) – where I have chosen to focus on differences of opinion, personality, etc.  In heaven, these differences are actually appreciated, not simply tolerated, because each difference reveals another aspect of Jesus we would not otherwise see.

When this “visit” ended, eager anticipation remained, though it was no longer aimed at joining my earthly dad in heaven.  Now it was to experience the love of Christ for all my brothers and sisters still on earth.  I don’t want to wait until heaven.  Fallen flesh may work against me to hinder, but greater is He Who is in me than the flesh in which I currently live!

With boldness and confidence in Jesus Christ, I pray the following verses for myself (and for you), knowing He will bring it to pass.  I don’t need to know how or how long it will take, because I know Who!

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV  14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.