My family lost a loved one this week. Wednesday’s funeral service for my Uncle Carl was a lovely tribute to his well-lived life, and the lunch that followed was an opportunity to share hugs, tears and laughter with aunts, uncles, and cousins. It felt a little incongruous to so enjoy a day on which we said goodbye to a family member.
As I think about it, however, it is entirely appropriate for a Christian to experience faith, hope, love, even joy, in the painful reality of loss.
My favorite moment of the day was a conversation I had with my 87-year-old aunt, the oldest of my mom’s siblings. Smiling through the entire interaction, she expressed how her brother, my uncle, had lived a good long life and is now in a far better place.
Then, with a sparkle of anticipation in her eyes, she said, “We have so much to look forward to!”
Yes, we do, both on this earth and beyond. Thank you, Aunt Ellen, for sharing your joyful hope with me. I pray that all who read this post, regardless of your age or circumstances, will also be encouraged to live with an attitude forward-looking hope!
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…Death has been swallowed up in victory…Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 54, 57