God speaks: “I’m the One comforting you. What are you afraid of—or who? Have you forgotten me, God, who made you, who unfurled the skies, who founded the earth? For I am God, your very own God, who stirs up the sea and whips up the waves; my name is God-of-the-Angel-Armies. I teach you how to talk, word by word, and personally watch over you, even while I’m unfurling the skies, and setting earth on solid foundations." From Isaiah 51, The Message.
Yesterday we buried the bones and skin in which Lois lived her earthly life. I think the hardest part was holding my grandchildren above the casket and explaining that their BaBa was not sleeping; she wouldn’t wake up; this was just the skin she wore on earth. The real BaBa is gone – but not forever. The oldest two struggled to understand. The young ones picked up candy and tried to put it in the casket with Lois – who knows how many pieces ended up in there!
Then, after the immediate family members had opportunity to see the body, the casket was closed. The two oldest boys, Brady and Broc, helped me and Peter, Tony, Jeremy, John, and Richard carry the casket to the coach and again from the coach to the graveside. There is something about the physical work of grieving – whether it is in travel, or cleaning, or carrying the casket, we all embrace the toil of grief.
We gathered around the grave and Frosty led us in a uncomplicated service of Scripture and prayer as we recognized that we were created from dust and to dust we return. But we rejoice in the reality that as Followers of Jesus we are not limited by physical bodies; we are first and foremost, spirit – made in God’s image – and “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2Cor 5:8)
Even as we shed tears of sorrow, Lois is in the eternal, everlasting, non-stop, 24-7 worship where all of creation bows before the Throne of the God of all that is and shouts and sings, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor, and glory, and power, forever and ever!” Amen!
Now we are preparing to gather for our own worship service. Oh, we know we cannot hope to duplicate what is going on in God’s throne room right now, but we’ll do our best. We will remember Lois but mostly we’ll remember the life of Christ in Lois. And we will worship God!