I read frequently the little devotional book Daily Light for Every Day (published by Thomas Nelson). It is Bible verses from different places in the bible put together by themes to make a short reading. There are no comments or titles or explanations, just God’s Word but in a different order than you normally read.
One year ago today I marked the May 15th devotional as my favorite. One year ago Lucy had been healed from RSV and the Flu throughout a difficult spring, and we were home looking forward to a long, hot summer after many days spent in the hospital.
This is the May 15th devotional:
God will wipe away every tear…there shall be no more death, nor sorrow,…for the former things have passed away.
He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. * Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. * The inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”; the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity. * The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Ii will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! * The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
The things which are not seen are eternal.
Rev. 21:4 ; Isaiah 25:8 ; Isaiah 60:20 ; Isaiah 33:24 ; Isaiah 65:19 ; Isaiah 35:10 ; Hosea 13:14 ; I Cor. 15:26, 54 ; 2 Cor. 4:18
And you might think that I read that last year with different feelings than I have now, but maybe Lucy’s life was marked in my mother-heart with a fear of death. Because now that it has come to pass my feelings are the same.
I hate death. I hate sickness and grief and separation and the grave. I hate that Lucy’s ashes are sitting on our living room mantle, all that is left of her precious body, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh waiting to be put into the ground next fall. I hate that there is no more holding. No more hearing, and no more seeing. Her absence is a continual wound to me.
So reading these words – O Death, I will be your plague! O Grave, I will be your destruction! – is like a battle cry. Let this not be all that there is! Please let our relationship of spirit and soul and BODY someday be restored!
I’m not very good at imagining Heaven, and I find the comforting things people say make me feel more confused than anything else. I can’t imagine Lucy running, or speaking, or strong and healthy because while she was alive I loved her limitations as a part of who she was. The Lucy I knew couldn’t do any of those things, and I can’t envision her as a person unfamiliar to me.
I am BELIEVING in resurrection, and BELIEVING in eternal life, and BELIEVING in Jesus power over death because otherwise I would just give up. There would not be any reason to get out of bed in the morning, or keep trying to put one foot in front of another.
Like Puddleglum the Marshwiggle in C.S. Lewis’ story The Silver Chair I get doubtful sometimes as to whether there IS a life beyond this one; whether my hopes for reunion and life together with the Lord are something solid or just imaginary ways of patching over the pain of life. But I would rather live HOPING for all that to be true than buried forever by the emptiness of what I can only see right now.
“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.” – taken from C. S. Lewis’ book The Silver Chair
This is May 15th and tomorrow will be May 16th and it doesn’t stop until it stops.
But as much as a person with my limitations can, I am believing that the things which are not seen are eternal. – Katie