Friday, November 13, 2009
I have just spent time with one of my dearest friends. She has, in her own words, been sent home to die. Is, in fact, also in her own words, "hanging on for her youngest son" who is arriving from overseas next week. She and I became friends maybe 15 years ago when she came to my very first bible study group. Running over with love for Christ; chattering away 25 to the dozen; wildly affectionate towards anyone who crossed her path: no one could help loving her. Eyes shining, she would share things the He did for her and for the people she cared about. A woman of sturdy courage in the midst of difficult and ongoing challenges, her impish sense of humour often showing through during the most heartbreaking of times And so she has continued over the years and so our friendship has endured. I am writing this as an outlet, I suppose. Now that she has spoken of her dying, there was freedom to speak together about the future Freedom to talk about things that were taboo until those words had been said by her. We could marvel together at the thought that very soon she will see Christ face-to-face which is the longing of everyone who loves Him. We could be amazed that He could give her such great peace and gratitude in the midst of this, life's greatest drama. We could joke together about hoping our houses in heaven would be close by each other. I could share with her my own story Of how, when I was with my own dying mother, I sensed, almost (but not quite) saw, at the moment of her departure - my mother kind of 'bursting out from, leaping up from, escaping out of,' the sick body that had become her prison. There was such exultation there; such freedom there; such joy and escape from limitation . . . More alive than ever somehow. SO hard to describe But inscribed on my heart forever. I have never had to mourn for her. How could I after that? My friend's journey continues. It will be hard in many ways - I will be a small part of it. I will value it as something indescribably precious; a privilege - Her young son is also a dear friend of mine. He arrives soon And will see his beloved mother much changed She will be torn by his pain, much more than by her own But I know that they will both be carried through this by the One who loves them both infinitely more than any of us could.