Sunday, August 26, 2007

There Are No "Good-byes" in Heaven

This post comes hard on the heels of my last post, about the senseless killing due to the negilgent driving habits of America's motorists. It saddens me to hear of these deaths because of how sudden they are, and how so totally unnecessary they are. Loved ones are left bereft with no warning, and the responsible parties walk away with a $75 fine.

But when someone you know passes on from a long illness, it brings on a mixture of feelings; sadness at the loss of someone who means a great deal to you, but also happiness that that person is now free of pain and has gone home to be with God, as in the natural order of things. So it is with a mixture of feelings that I write of the passing of a dear friend, who meant a great deal to many, but meant even more to God.

Today, August 26, 2007 at 9:44:20 AM, God took another one of His own. This morning my friend Judy slipped quietly away in peace and comfort. Her husband and family were there with her.

I've written before of Judy's faith, and how she was such an inspiration to me and my own faith (
Post of August 9). Right up to the very end, Judy was God's ever faithful servant. It is unknown how many lives Judy touched simply by being stricken with cancer. Perhaps this was God's plan all along.

Judy was an ordinary person of extraordinary grace. She walked in God's light, and He carried her through her long and arduous battle with cancer, as a mother carries her newborn. She was blessed with a husband who loved and cared deeply for her, and kept his promise to see her through it all without faltering.

My heart goes out to her husband, who waited all his life to meet her. They had just 8 short years together. It is a testament of faith that he can go on without her now. I am not totally sure I could, were I in his shoes. To lose someone, that has become so integrated in your life, is a thought I don't wish to contemplate.

Instead one must steadfastly believe that to have such a bond with someone is an incomparable gift from God, not to be taken lightly no matter how few years there were. For to have such a gift between two souls is rare, whether it be two years or 50. Many never see such a gift even once in a lifetime.

And her lovely daughter is blessed with having had such an extraordinary mother, but will miss her like any daughter would any mother. She will be strong, I know. For God would not have taken her mother otherwise.

My prayers are for these two now, for the strength to learn to live in a day-to-day world without Judy. It must now come solely from faith that Judy will be waiting there for them when God decides it's their time to go. And faith is what Judy was all about.

Judy walks with God now. Her time here on earth has come to an end. But God's work lives on through her, in her family left behind, and in the multitude of people whose lives she touched irrevocably, including mine.

Judy didn't raise millions in charity work. She wasn't a preacher, nor a missionary. Judy was a wife, a mother, and an unfailing servant of God. Judy was stricken with cancer, and fought a long, hard battle. And she was truly blessed.

I smile to think of the radiant look on her face as she placed her hand in God's and left her earthly body behind.

"I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. (John 11:25,26)

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