Tuesday, August 7, 2012

not my favorite place


my grandmother
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.  But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;

I’d like to be in London taking in some of the 2012 summer Olympics, but I’m not.  Someone on FaceBook did use my name and my picture claiming to be me saying I lost my wallet and needed friends to send me money.  It was a scam and not me.  Hope you didn’t send money.

I’d like to be back at the beach enjoying the breeze off the ocean and the calming roar of the waves as well as the fun of jumping the waves with my kids.  But I’m not there either.

I’d like to be at lots of different places, and there are many that are my favorites: the beach, the mountains, any where with my wife and kids, on a cruise way out in the ocean, on a mission trip in Honduras or some other neat place like West Virginia.  But I’m not at any of those either.

Today I spent most of the day, many hours, sitting next to my grandmother whose life seems to be slipping away.  Grandma Bobbie went into the hospital a couple months ago, and since that time she has been in the hospital a couple times and in a rehab center.  Late last week she was put in hospice care.  Today we talked a little bit.  She slept a lot.  She held my hand most of the time, some times squeezing so tight that my hand went to sleep.  We talked about the past and about her parents who went to heaven a long time ago and about all the people we care about.

30 years ago my grandma and my aunt moved into our home.  We were already family, but this changed things a bit … but it has been the life we know.  Grandma Bobbie loves tennis and puzzle books, and she can argue with anyone.  But she is my grandma.  She has loved me for four decades, and every time we talk she says “I love my boy” (maybe I am her favorite grandchild).   Her words are always kind, gentle and genuine.

This is not my favorite place.  Through the years I’ve been with many families as they have had loved ones to pass away, but this is different.  I knew that I needed to come back to Oklahoma at some point this month because her health was getting worse.  I didn’t know it would be this soon.  Here I am.  I realized that I have the best seat in the world even though it’s not my favorite place.

Death is something we all have to deal with.  God told us that fact.  My grandma is ready.  She is ready to see her parents and all the other family and friends who have gone there before us.  Grandma Bobbie has made peace with God and knows Jesus as her Savior.  Like I said, she is ready, but maybe we aren’t ready to let her go.  Maybe you have been there, and I bet you would agree that this is not your favorite place either.

So for the next few days I’ll sit and pray.  We will talk some, and I will cry a lot (like I did today).  Life is precious.  Do you get that?  Cherish life and the people God has brought your way.  Share life and the salvation that God has given you so others will know the promise of heaven and peace like you and I have experienced. 

I’m not praying that my grandma will stay here with us because I believe something bigger than us.  I believe earth is not to be our favorite place.  That is reserved for heaven.  One day I’ll go there, and it will be my favorite place for sure.  Until then I’ll take what God sends my way, and I will ask Him daily to help me walk through every one of the spaces that are not my favorite place.

In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

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happy birthday, Julie

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