September 24, 2017
One year ago today, Mary left us, although that isn’t the accurate way to say it. She didn’t willfully leave us but allowed her departure to be orchestrated by God.
Scripture says Jesus has the key to death (Revelation 1:18) and that whatever he opens, no one can close. (Revelation 3:7) A year ago he opened death’s door for Mary, and her spirit walked willingly through it, right into eternal pleasure. It was God’s perfect plan for her.
That’s the encouraging thing about a loved one’s passing. If we, like Mary, have loved and followed Jesus in our earthly lives, death’s door is simply a passageway to a glorious new life we can’t possible picture now.
Knowing that, however, doesn’t ease the sorrow in the rest of us. Throughout this day, our minds have been filled with Mary – sweet remembrances and the thousand-and-one-ways we each miss her.
Bervin initiated a time of sharing tonight, to take place at the beach Mary loved so much. A bunch of us gathered to talk and let our eyes freely fill with tears, if need be. From a wide circle of beach chairs, we shared bits and pieces of who Mary was to each of us by way of things we hold dear about her now – memories from silly to serious.
Bervin coaxed Scripture from us by asking if anyone could recall Bible passages that Mom/Grandma had taught them. As 7 young children played in the middle of our circle, the verses came forth. And in reciting those, we remembered how much Mary loved the Word of God.
It’s mindboggling to realize she is now loving THE Word, face-to-face. (John 1:1) And as one of her children said tonight, “She’s also got all the answers to all the questions the rest of us are still asking.”
But if she had walked up to our circle on the beach tonight with a bit of advice from her life “on the other side,” she probably would have said something like this: “Trust God with your life… and death. Study your Bibles. And be sure you say these words to others often: I love you.
“Because after all, you never know…”