Many years ago, my mom lost a long battle with cancer. It was a difficult road and she was a stinkin’ trooper. Smiling when she felt good but always positive and honest even on the bad days. There were years and years of chemotherapy and radiation and surgeries and agony. And there were years and years of memories … strangely okay memories.
It was here I learned a deeper side of love.
I’ve experienced many family members and friends growing old. There’s an expectedness to it. You expect to hear, “Huh?” as they turn down their hearing aid. You talk louder and louder. You hear stories repeated. You know more than you want to know about Uncle Joe and that dang cow in the back forty. You get mistaken for Aunt Margaret and learn to pretend you are shucking corn and remembering the good ol’ days. It’s frustrating, but it’s expected. And I always thought these frustrations were a way God allows us to let go. A place of healing as the family member moseys on towards eternity.
Cancer, illness, premature death … not so much. It’s through the mom with cancer, the husband with sudden heart disease, the child that dies in an accident that things are suddenly different. The world seems to stop. No one really understands at the time. Everything is a fog. You keep moving forward because you are afraid of what will happen if you stop. You are all the things. You feel all the things. You do all the things.
Towards the end of her battle, I remember sitting in the bathroom in my pajamas. I had just come home from the hospital. Quite honestly, I don’t remember which hospital visit it was. I was exhausted. I had spent too many moments in perfect clothes with well-coiffed hair saying all of the polite “yes, sir” answers to the myraid of doctors flooding our very exhausted brains with information. I sat there kinda hiding and kinda brushing my hair. “Dear God, not my will but Yours be done.” I was praying with a love for my mother that I had never known. And it was a love I learned to have for others. All in that moment, my love became unconditional. It was no longer my wishes, but God’s will. And it was no longer just unconditionally for her, but for everyone.
It is through the death of a Christian that a deeper love emerges. All of a sudden death becomes beautiful pain. It becomes a bold kinda grace. A blessed reassurance. The Kingdom unfolds before your feet and you begin to understand your frailty. Heaven meets earth and God’s love overflows. Time stands still and you can see the full story. This life we know is a blink of the eye and a small tiny sliver of the eternity.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” — Revelation 21:4-6 NIV
In that moment it’s possible to let go, because your concept of love changes. Love has boundaries that can be beautiful. Love has ebbs and flows. Love matures and ages. And love slowly becomes more like God’s. In that moment when the big picture is seen a little more clearly, love sees the best decision for the Kingdom.It is through the death of a Christian that a deeper love emerges...the unconditional kind. #loveClick To Tweet
Once the fog of grief lifts, Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitates, ending treatment and hospice are no longer frightening. They become okay. Painful, but tolerable. All because the Kingdom unfolds and comforts our weak earthly hearts. Letting go becomes acceptable. And all death … whether expected or premature … becomes a path to grace, a journey for His beloved.
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