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God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.  II Thessalonians 2:16  CE

I didn’t even know she was ill.  I wasn’t close friends with the family but I know them and was so shocked and sad to hear that she succumbed to a long battle with cancer and has now gone to be with Jesus.  I’m not sad she went to be with Jesus but sad that her husband, not much older than John and I is now without his partner, and that her two kids, the age of my college girls, are now without their mom when there are still life milestones to cross like marriage and grandbabies and a host of other special events.

It causes my heart to halt and forces me to remember …

That mistake (or two) at work is not really a big deal.
My squeezy checking account balance is not that important.
The distance between me and the rest of my family around the country is just that, but they are still with me and there are so many ways to stay in touch these days.
The aggravations of raising a teenage daughter are almost precious to me all of a sudden.
A rush of love and thankfulness for my husband, sitting across the room watching football,  swells up inside.  What would I do if I lost him?

How must my friend and his family feel right now?  Earthly things and problems and treasures lose all power, appeal, threat or glimmer.

They’re not important.  They’re temporary.

Only God and the souls we offer to Him will last.  Our bodies fight disease, often valiantly, but ultimately they will wear out.

Imagining what it is like for Jeanne right now inspires and encourages me.  Is she standing on a brilliant horizon of endless sunrise, bathed in peace, relieved of every single concern, hurt, tiredness, and pain?  Is she holding the hand of Jesus, who prepared a place just for her?  She is where she was meant to be, meant to eventually and permanently be from the moment she was conceived and born into a human family on this dusty planet.  What a destination!  What a future and hope!  There is NO comparison!  I don’t think our minds, no matter how creative or imaginative they may be, can comprehend the pure beauty, the wholeness, the satisfying completion and sense of utter belonging that will be ours when we cross over from death to real, true, everlasting life.

Thank you, Jesus!  Please hold Jeanne’s family near and let them get a glimpse of that beautiful place where the woman they love and will miss every day is waiting for them, in her new body, free of disease and full of radiant life that will never fade or wear out.

Thank you for reminding me of what is true and what is really important:  Love, truth, hope in forgiveness, and a relationship with you, God.

Those things will never end.

“PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.
GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
PIPPIN: Well, that isn’t so bad.
GANDALF: No. No, it isn’t.” – from “Return of the King” by J.R.Tolkein