January’s fierce winds blew as I hurried toward the restaurant door. Tomorrow I would travel through several states to be with my sister as she buried her dear husband.
But first, I had an appointment made last week with a meeting planner who had invited me to speak at her church’s women’s retreat. With a heavy heart, I pushed open the door and stepped inside.
A blonde woman who looked vaguely familiar smiled at me. ‘Beth, you haven’t changed a bit!”
I thought of our phone conversation last week. “How much could I change in so little time?”
She looked puzzled but didn’t say anything. We settled in a booth where bright sunshine streamed through the window. I tried to listen as she talked, but the fresh news of my brother-in-law’s death made it hard to concentrate.
I watched her lips move. I know those lips! I squinted as I studied her face. I know that nose! And that face! Suddenly, it hit me. I last saw her many years ago when her hair had been dark brown.
“Are you–” I could hardly believe it. “–my Katy?”
She laughed, and her blue eyes crinkled in that familiar merriment. “You mean you didn’t know?”
How could I? In the years since her first husband’s death, we had lost track of one another. I had no idea that she had remarried and changed her hair color.
Oh, oh, oh! In a surge of excitement, we jumped up and hugged one another fiercely, then quickly settled back in the booth. We couldn’t talk fast enough to catch up on the past thirty-five years. Laughing and re-living our high school memories as best friends, we enjoyed our happy reunion. Four hours vanished before we reluctantly parted company, still excited and glad that the women’s retreat’s was not far off.
On the way home, I thanked God for this time of joy in the midst of our family’sorrow. He gently turned my thoughts to another glad reunion.
In God’s economy, a Christian’s death is not the end of life. It’s a new beginning. It’s a transition into a glorious, face-to-face life with him. A time of no more sorrow, pain, sickness, or death. A time of glad reunion with Jesus and our dear family and friends who have gone to be with him before us.
Focus: “Blessed are those who die in the Lord” ~Revelation 14:13, New Living Translation.
How about you? How do you find comfort when a loved one dies?