I don't know what she would think about me putting pictures of her on my blog. I guess she would think that it's ok. My Mom. I believe at this very moment, she would not be too interested in what her old body looked like. She's enjoying a new body, busy fulfilling whatever her eternal purpose in Heaven might be! Part of that purpose is surely to cheer me on. I'm sure another part of that purpose is to make fresh flower arrangements to decorate the Throne (it's okay to imagine!).
She has been on my mind today. In fact, I wept through Bro. Jeff's entire message this morning. Not necessarily tears of grief, but tears of joy and an overwhelming sense of blessing. Some tears were out of empathy for other people. Some tears flowed from a sense of regret and inadequacy. And yes, some flowed hot down my face out of sadness.
The pastor preached from Mark 5 about how the man Jairus, whose 12-year-old daughter had died, called upon Jesus. He preached about the compassionate and powerful response of Jesus in raising the girl from death to life. During the sermon, Bro Jeff talked about how a parent responds when a child is ill...they will pay anything, do anything, go anywhere, whatever it takes to see that the child gets help.
Then for some parents, they must helplessly let go of their children, entrusting them to Jesus until they are reunited in Heaven. Those parents who have lost a child often and understandably question "Why not me," preferring the child's life to be spared in exchange for their own life to be taken prematurely.
That's when the tears started. See, I've been there. Not from the perspective of the parent, but from the perspective of the child.
4 months before my Mom passed away, I was diagnosed with cancer. I remember the day we got the news. Dr. Azar called and I answered the phone. She asked if I was home alone. No, my mother is here. "Have her to pick up another phone. I need to talk to both of you."
Mom was so sad.
I was upset too, but I guess I was more numb than anything.
I eventually had surgery. Mom was with me the whole time. Recovery was difficult, but we were together through it all.
My surgery was March 9, 2006. I went back to work around April 17. Mom died June 9.
It wasn't until sometime later that my Aunt Faye shared with me that Mom, referring to my cancer, had made the comment that she (Mom) wished the Lord would allow her to die if it meant I would be allowed to live. Oh, I can now hardly type the words through trembling fingers and blurred vision.
That's what a good mother does and how she thinks, isn't it?
When I first heard of my Mom's feelings about my cancer, I felt guilty for just a moment. Then I felt completely and unconditionally loved. What a gift of life.
Perhaps it was only coincidence that my Mom had that prayer then died suddenly less than 3 months later, but I don't think so. I believe God took her up on her offer. Literally.
So in church today, I really pondered all of that. Then it occurred to me, that more than just my Mother has died so that I can have life. I'm a born-again Christian, having trusted in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection as the payment for my sin and have accepted His gift of eternal life. But today, it just flooded me in a very new and fresh way that I can't even articulate.
So the question is what, now, shall I do with my life? I want to make every second count. I don't want the sacrifice of my Mom, or more importantly, of my Savior to be in vain.
Some areas of my life are going good in that regard. Other areas are painfully out of control. Making progress. It's a process day-by-day, minute-by-minute.
The good thing is this: Mom gave all she could give, but she recieved everything when she breathed her last breath on this earth. The human nature in us wants to avoid death, unable to comprehend the sting and unable to grasp what's waiting for those who know Jesus, and that's why she wanted me to stay and her to go. I miss her every day, but I'm glad she gets the good part in this deal. Even now, I wonder what she's doing right at this exact moment.
I don't blame God for wanting her there with Him. She's an asset to Heaven if you ask me!