Bad things happen to good people. We know this, and yet it still hits like a punch to the gut every – single – time.
Just over a week ago, my friend’s wife died, taken by cancer, leaving behind her husband and two young daughters, her family and friends, her congregation, and countless others whose lives she touched. The day we received news of Becky’s death, Lydia’s bedtime Bible story, out of the Jesus Storybook Bible, happened to be the story of Jairus’s daughter being raised from the dead. Below is the final page of that story.
As I read it aloud, in my mind’s eye I imagined Becky, the “still little figure”, as she breathed her last. And then I saw the strong hand of Jesus reaching down into death to grasp Becky’s hand, his sure and steady voice calling her name – “Becky, it’s time to get up!” But unlike the girl in the story, Becky’s awakening was not on this earth. Instead, she opened her eyes to a world too wonderful for words and found herself healed and whole, face to face with her loving Savior.
While trying to wrap my mind around the reality of it all, a song came into my head, something that I am pretty sure I first learned in my youth choir days at my childhood church. Like most hymns, I suppose, the text of the first verse is what was stuck in my head, but it was the last verse that spoke to my heart.
In our end is our beginning;
in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing;
in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection;
at the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.
–Hymn of Promise, Natalie Sleeth
Phil, Eva, Ellie, Bud, Patty, Kristen – I love you all and continue to hold you in my heart and in my prayers.