“The Kingdom of God is at hand…”
Anyone who grows up in a large, extended family probably knows that funerals are a part of life. As a child they seemed to come with a certain regularity and unless the person was dearly loved and present on a daily basis, a child may have little understanding of the meaning of death. However, as we grow older, death takes on a seriousness and a painfulness that is all too real. Death is a part of life and will come for all of us and for those we love and never want to lose.
Death visited our community twice in less than two weeks and Christmas – that season of light and joy – was right in between them. After the initial shock, you gather your wits and begin to prepare. With family and friends surrounding and supporting you, you do all you need to do and carry on. When you are thinking again, you ponder your loss in other ways. “Is she happy? I miss her presence!” “Where is she? In heaven – but what is that like – REALLY like?”
Thinking about these sisters who have gone on ahead of us, I imagined their sense of awe and wonder when they awoke to their new life. Feeling something of their delight reminded me of a much-loved poem –
The spirit, newly freed from earth,
Is all amazed at the surprise Of her belonging:
suddenly as native to eternity, To see herself, to realize
The heritage that lets her be at home where all this glory lies.
By naught foretold could she have guessed
Such welcome home: the robe, the ring,
Music and endless banqueting,
These people hers; this place of rest
Known, as of long remembering
Herself a child of God and pressed
With warm endearments to His breast.
“The Homecoming” Jessica Powers