|Our Wedding Day in 2007, with Papa front and center.|
Steve’s grandfather passed away in the beginning of this month. I am beginning to believe that each month of 2011 will bring with it a new trial that God is purposing to strengthen us through – by 2012 our hearts should be molded to perfection (with eight more months to go I really am beginning to count my blessings).
Kidding aside, the past two weeks have been upsetting, yes – but incredibly and insurmountably encouraging. To know and love someone who is a believer in Christ is a beautiful thing. In this life, we are privy to visually seeing the affects of someone’s love; the tangible outpouring of what caring for others looks like, putting other’s needs before their own, providing for their physical needs, experiencing tender hugs, looks of pride, and words of comfort. These are all ways that we seek and articulate love in the horizontal relationship we have with each other here on earth.
The vertical relationship is different – and it’s far surpassing any sort of endearing love we can envision here on earth. Isn’t that amazing? Our Father has a love for us that surpasses any conceivable earthly love. We cannot even fathom what love is like in the heavenly, though I like to believe that it’s sort of like the feeling I get in my chest when I see Steve at the end of the day, but only it will be ten thousand times greater when Jesus sits next to me. Don’t you want a love like that? Amen and hallelujah, Christ gives us that opportunity.
The placement of Holy Week on the calendar this year is immediately following all that we have dealt with in the passing of Papa. I am finding myself drawn ever more to the cross this year simply based on the events of the past few weeks, and what I’m thankful for is that God knew I would need that reminder – and the urging in my heart to draw near to Him hasn’t ceased.
The great comfort when we face the death of a loved one who is a believer, is the knowledge that the death from this world is actually a glorious birth into God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Steve’s grandfather shed his gauzy, irritating hospital gown – and was dressed in the comfort of a flowing, white linen robe pressed fresh with Jesus’ cleansing blood. Oh, what a gown to adorn. I can just picture the warmth in his smile – which my husband accurately pointed out as his own. God is good in that way. He gives us glimpses of past family members in the traits of those that still walk beside us as a remembrance.
He thinks of everything, doesn’t He?
This blog is mine and it is a reflection of my life – so I won’t even begin to assume my husband’s current emotions and his grief. His grandfather was very dear to him and his presence in his life was palpable and tenable – something my husband desperately needed growing up. He will miss his grandfather, as will I, but I can say with the boldest of convictions that both of us are rejoicing in his current place of glory at Jesus’ feet. And we will see him there again, and with God’s great mercy (hopefully) with some more great-grandchildren for him to enjoy.
We love you Papa, and we miss you even now.