We went to a funeral home tonight.
We paid our respects and offered our prayer and love to a family who lost a 24-year-old son on Christmas Day. He had hitchhiked home for Christmas from clear across the continent. He reconnected with all his cousins, aunts and uncles, sister, mom and dad at the Christmas eve party. Then on Christmas he died.
It’s such a shock, death, even when you’ve been expecting it for years. His mother said she felt something horrible was going to happen throughout December. But no one else expected this.
Death. Final. Finished. Gone. Never to return.
Grief. Mourning. Missing. Crying. Agonizing.
Those left behind are sometimes just lost. What do you do when you’ve lost a young son? Go back to work? Return to paying your bills, cleaning your house, cooking your meals, shopping for your food? Something big interferes with all of your life activities. It’s loss.
If you read this, would you pray for this family? They have a long road ahead of learning how to live without this son. Days of tears, horrible sadness. Just as when a child is born to you, nothing is ever the same again. When that child dies, nothing is ever the same again.
Yet, we, of the Christian faith have the hope of heaven and resurrection. The dead will be raised in the last day.
Heaven in the Bible is described as a holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven. Compared to the meaning of death in other religions, to us, heaven is a living bustling city. And coming from above, it is a gift from God. There, we will live with God, adopted sons and daughters living in close relationships with God and each other. Amazing, no?
But the biggie here is this: God will wipe away every tear. There will be no more death, mourning or crying or pain. All of the old will be gone. Heaven will reunite us again with our families, our friends and our Lord. Forever.
“I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.”
(Revelation 21:3–4 CEV)