My dear cousin gave me this quote yesterday, I hope it is an encouragement to you as it is to me:
"Jesus' death reveals to us that we do not have to live pretending that death is not something that comes to all of us. As he hangs stretched out between heaven and earth, he asks us to look our mortality straight in the face and trust that death does not have the last word. We can then look at the dying in our world and give them hope; we can hold their dying bodies in our arms and trust that mightier arms than ours will receive them and give them the peace and joy they always desire. -Henri Nouwen
I believe so strongly in heaven and Christ's finished work on the cross that I think I would qualify for admission to the psych ward's in the hospital where my husband works. (Belief in God or hearing him speak being a diagnostic criteria for many types of psychosis; though as I have said before, I don't actually hear God speak). This has not always been the case, over the past three months--which lasted for three years--I have tried other routes for expressing my grief. I have looked inward and focused on my loss, my anger, my sorrow, and my pain. The fruit of this reflection is always the same: anger, bitterness, impatience, and a despair that keeps me from doing the good set before me. When instead of on my own grief, I focus on the cross of Christ and his defeat of death, the fruit of the Spirit wells up supernaturally--and through no good of my own--to splash its cool refreshing mist all about me. When I rely completely on Christ's finished work and allow him to quiet me with his love and rejoice over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17b), I am able to love in return. "We love because He first loved us," (1 John 1:19). It may be crazy to live in the light of resurrection glory and to take a sabbatical to rest in His unfailing love, but I happen to know that even in the Psych wards they have no laws against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). As a result, "let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds," (Hebrews 10:24), crazy or not. Even if we are destined only to become worm food, I would like to go as the "kind, gentle, loving" variety, but I digress, as if such a thing were possible without Jesus.
When Matty looks down and sees me here--still not sure how that whole time thing works--I do not think he will appreciate my self-absorption. I think he would like to see us honor his memory by continuing to do good to the other 130 million orphaned children around the world (Don't worry sweet family and friends, we will not be bringing anyone else home in the very near future--we will leave that to you!). We have good to do today, and so it is now my great joy to turn this computer off and leave the virtual world behind so that I can be busy about loving those two little munchkins still sleeping up stairs, my crazy husband (no new adventures today, honey), and you, my dear friends, who have all waited so patiently for me to walk my little boy home. (Matty, my son, how I miss you! Who would have thought that a selfish sinner such as myself could by the grace of God love you as my own, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone). Blessings and goodbye until we meet again on the other side of sorrow, in that beautiful place where the least of these like Matt will be the greatest.