Thursday, July 3, 2008

Leona speaks....

A friend died today.

It’s all too common of an occurrence lately it seems.

My friend: once vibrant, once wild with dreams and ideas--suddenly taken out by the swift blow from an enemy too strong to stand against any longer.

I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m even a little frightened by the reality of human vulnerability. I’m perplexed by the normative Christian response that she is “better off now.” I suppose that is true, but I don’t think her little 2-year-old granddaughter who thought her grandma was perfectly happy playing with her here would agree.

Once Jesus stood at the tomb where his friend’s dead body lay. He cried. I don’t think he just shed the kind of tears that embarrass grown men. He shouted words that would overcome death for one man for one time. He wept because as a human he experienced what every human before and after him has felt: The sting of death. The wretched reality that one will never walk beside his loved one again on this earth. Ever. The desolate awareness that a power so strong exists that it can snuff out the very breath of life.

Lazarus’ friends told Jesus it stunk. I think he agreed. I sure do. Death stinks.

Lest it appear I have lost faith, I haven’t. In fact, death probably makes me re-evaluate exactly what it is that I believe.

I’m banking on the other words Jesus said while he was here. Like the ones where he promised an eternal Kingdom where He would reign and the enemy called death would be dashed. Forever.


Karla W. said...

After my daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia at 9 months of age I have never once said that someone is "better off." Isn't it interesting how personal experiences can change one's perspective so quickly. As July gets started and the days pass we are quickly approching the one year mark of our first little cancer warrior who died. Death is hard at any age. Though I'm sure there is no basis for it, I like to picture little Austin in heaven playing and amusing all of the grandmas who went before him and all the grandmas who've died since.

I am sorry to hear about your friend and hope that friends and family are being able to provide some comfort to one another.

Leona said...

Thank you for sharing the pain of your heart. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious child and will certainly hold you in my heart during these July days. I can also picture little Austin playing in a place where joy, laughter and peace abound. I do think there is a basis for such hope. It is found in the words of Scripture where heaven is described as a place where there is no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain and no more death. (Rev. 21) What a perfect place for children and grandmas to play. Peace to you. Leona

Terry said...

Actually, Karla's daughter is doing very well and Austin was one of the kids they met on their journey. We have been following a similar journey with our pastor's son (see prior post on Father's Day). The unbearable knowing and knowing can arrive quite early.... And I recall how worried we all were when Karla went into Children's Hospital at a very young age. Thanks for reading our blog, Karla. I'm keeping up with you on yours, as well.

Karla W. said...

Sorry for the missunderstanding I read and re-read my reply, but overeditid it. after a long day at work, and spending a few hours on homework I was a bit brain dead and not very clear.

Yes, Sammie has been in remission for 14 months now, she is doing wonderful. Austin was a sweet little boy from Montana.