Coming face to face with death was not what I expected on my birthday, but God had me do just that. I watched a sweet saint go into God’s presence yesterday afternoon and was awed and humbled as never before in my life. I wasn’t with mama when she died, but even if I had been, it wouldn’t have been the same experience because I was in an altered state and unaware of what was going on around me during that time. Yesterday, I was able to observe calmly and was touched deeply by God’s unexpected gift. It caught me off guard and caused a stillness unlike any other as I held my breath and watched as Edith took her last breath. She was so like mama, so my heart was immediately carried away in a flood of emotions that took me to my car and followed me home.
Being in the presence of death was a lesson I will not soon forget. Life is a vapor, and ethereal took on new meaning as I shared the room with death. Life is tenuous and a mere blink when compared to the eternity within which we live. That was the lesson as God captured and held my attention tightly in those few frozen moments.
Mama left a hole in my heart when she died. I think of her often but particularly miss her on my birthdays. She always made sure they were very special. She was like a child herself and loved celebrating birthdays. She would sometimes hide my present under the bed so I could open it as soon as I awoke. One year, I got a Barbie doll! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that lean lanky doll in her black and white swimsuit:) I remember birthday cakes and parties and feeling like a princess all day long. I felt very like a princess yesterday morning, but in the hospital room yesterday afternoon, I knew I was a bride.
Edith had waited patiently for Christ to come for her and grown weary in the waiting. I thank God for allowing me to see her wait come to an end. She isn’t anxious any more, and she is in the presence of more love than she or I could ever imagine. As I worked on last minute details for the wedding, I was reminded of the excitement a wedding brings. The bible study yesterday morning also reminded me that I am Christ’s bride. That changes the way I wait. I am to be preparing for His coming just as He is preparing a place for me in His Father’s House. I know He’s doing a much better job than I with those preparations, but I plan to improve on my preparing.
I thank God for the beautiful, unexpected gift of stillness in the presence of His love that touched my heart. Death helped me see life and love in a new light. It’s easy to get weary in the waiting, but knowing that Christ is also waiting eagerly helps me puts everything into perspective. It sometimes seems like a long wait, but if I wait as an expectant bride or a child on Christmas eve, the wait is not a weary one.