My mother, so dignified and proper her entire life, now lay in a hospice bed, held captive by debilitating age. Struggling for breath, her declining condition contradicted the gorgeous spring day that danced invitingly on the other side of the windowpane.
All the emotional preparation in the world cannot sufficiently brace us for the stark reality of goodbye. Death is such an indignity! I thought.
I diverted my gaze to the birdfeeder outside the window. A grosbeak flitted close to help itself to some seed. Instantly a familiar phrase popped into my mind: “Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matt. 10:29
My mom stirred and opened her eyes. Reaching back to her childhood, she used a Dutch term of endearment for her own mother and declared, “Muti’s dead!”
“Yes,” my wife agreed. “She’s with Jesus now.” Uncertain, Mom continued. “And Joyce and Jim?” she questioned of her sister and brother. “Yes, they’re with Jesus too,” said my wife. “But we’ll be with them soon!”
“It’s hard to wait,” Mom said quietly.
Heavenly Father, this life can be so hard and painful. But You! . . . You are right there with us, loving us, keeping us, holding us! And You promise never to leave us or forsake us.
Death is the last shadow before heaven’s dawn.
Part of the emphasis in today’s reading is the value God places on every human life. When we face the death of those dear to us—or our own death—it is a comfort to remember how deeply God cares for us. In fact, the psalmist accentuates this assurance, saying, “Precious in the sight of the
For more on the subject of heaven, read Our Eternal Home at discoveryseries.org/rd911.