One of my friends in Master Gardeners just lost her husband in early January to suicide. They did not have a belief in God so how do you comfort someone like that? Her niece sent her a small bowl with these stones in them. I found them inspiring for me and wanted to share. What a simple gift for someone who finds themselves in a position of grief. How much more powerful these would be if these were combined with scriptures!
Saturday, I attended the funeral of a good friend from church. She had suffered a very long battle with cancer which gave her irreversible heart problems. The heart finally gave out after many hospitalizations and much pain at the end. She was a marvelous example of sacrificial giving in her life. Her celebration of life was just that–a celebration and joy in her now being in heaven. She was only 47.
Our Iranian student who was baptized last week wanted to attend. I asked him afterwards what he thought of a Christian funeral service. His response was, “It was so full of hope.” Wow–what an amazing tribute to our Christian faith. The Moslem faith does believe in an afterlife but their funerals are full of lots of mourning and weeping rather than celebrating the life lived.
II Corinthians 5:1 – “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” As a Christian, there is great hope knowing this body will decay and eventually die but that is not the end but JUST THE BEGINNING. What a blessing to have this hope.
My next big trip is planned. November 1-10, I will be joining our church’s Medical Mission to Ecuador. We will be in a small village on the equator in a rain forest. It takes a 3-hour motorized canoe ride to get there from town. On Sunday mornings, the church members come in their canoes to church. I am very excited to be planning to join the team for this trip. I will be taking a road trip back to Wisconsin the middle of May as well.
Today I am thankful for:
- My garden and all the spring growth there!
- The excitement of a new brother in Christ in our Iranian student.
- His total commitment as his family will probably continue to persecute him for his beliefs.
- Having a college student, Isa, live with me this summer. She is working as an intern at the coffee shop this summer.
- The beauty I am already seeing in my garden with God’s magnificent eye for beauty.
- Many visitors to church who want to find out about us.
- My salvation.
- A trip to Dallas today for the week to see relatives.
- Sweet memories of Jerry every day.
- The hope of heaven to keep us going through great loss.