~by Brenda Weaver
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee. My Son give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways,” Proverbs 23: 22a, 26.
He strutted toward the water, a...
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
It happened. I knew it would. It undoubtedly will happen again. But yesterday it happened for the first time.
I met an old friend at the grocery store. I recognized her rather suddenly as she struggled in the checkout line, paying her groceries and minding two grandchildren. I stooped to talk to and distract the youngest child while she finished writing her check. When I stood up and saw her face we recognized each other immediately. That’s when it happened. She asked, “How’s your husband?”
“He’s gone,” I said softly. Shock contorted her face. She looked at me in horror as I nodded.
“Gone? Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know… I didn’t hear… I…” She struggled for words.
“It’s okay,” I said. “He went downhill quickly. I couldn’t let everyone know. I understand.” Mindful we were still standing in the checkout line, I tried to ease her distress. She gathered her groceries and her grandchildren, but she seemed hesitant to leave, almost as if she wished she could give me a gift to ease my sorrow. That’s when I thought of a gift I could give to her, quickly. I could tell her about his faith-confirming death.
“He had a glorious home-going. We were so blessed to see his eyes gaze into heaven.” A few short sentences transformed the face of my friend. She smiled. Now it was my turn to write a check and gather my groceries. I followed her to the parking lot and we waved goodbye.
I’d weathered the first such experience. She’d had the tragic news softened by a gift of hope. Who knows how many other people overheard our conversation and may have benefited by it?
I’d already thanked God many times for blessing our family with those remarkable last minutes of awe at his death bed. On the way home with my groceries I praised God again.
Because evidence of faith takes the sting out of death.