My friends Leslie and Karen lost their beloved mother-in-law, Sandra, on Thursday morning. Mark and Russell lost their mom. Drew, Taylor, Lily and Sam lost their Grandma. I say “lost” like she can’t be found, but we know where she is. She lost her battle with hateful cancer but she has won the victory in Jesus Christ.
Last night we sat in the quiet corner of a restaurant with Leslie and Russell. I snuggled baby Sam while Lily sat on her mama’s lap and played trains with the sugar packets.
Leslie and I talked about the void that Sandra filled in her life. Love is so simple and yet so complicated, and Leslie’s voice broke as she tried to express her feelings.
Lily heard the tears in her mama’s voice and turned around. She placed her hands on Leslie’s face and said tearfully, “I want Grandma.”
Through her own tears, Leslie said “I do too, but Grandma’s gone home to be with God.”
Lily Grace, in her little three-year-old voice: “I want to see God.”
I do, too. Don’t you?
If you don’t know how, here’s a great place to start:
Earlier this week, I went along with a group of Christians in Hamilton to visit several ladies who reside in assisted living centers there. I could not take my eyes off one woman in particular. Her name is Bobbie.
She was beautiful. Her face was wreathed in smiles. She was so happy to see each person who walked into the room. She sat smiling, with her eyes closed, listening and joining in with the songs we sang.
I don’t know any of Bobbie’s history or circumstances. From what I could see, she had few earthly possessions. She was bound to her wheelchair. Her clothes were plain and her surroundings, though comfortable, were spare.
And in the few moments that we were there, I felt my eyes sting and my heart twist.
Because some women *my age* tend to be absorbed in keeping the wrinkles at bay and washing the grey out of our hair. We examine ourselves critically in the mirror to see signs of aging and fading. We spend a lot of money on creams and sprays and potions. We rue those extra pounds. And we look at Brooke Shields and Jane Seymour and wonder how they manage to look so timeless.
But Bobbie exemplifies beauty, to me. She knows the joy of the Lord. She loves His people. His people love her. Her physical appearance may not be the world’s icon of beauty, but the Lord’s idea is different. “…The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
I want to look like her when I grow up.