I have a friend who has cancer and her body is dying; slowly, slowly the disease and medications have pared away all excess from her and in doing so one gets a glimpse of her living soul. Its as if she is translucent, and the liquid gold of God's love and peace that is flowing through her, can be seen with the naked eye. It would seem an oxymoron to say that as she walks closer to death, she is more alive then ever. But contrast is a beautiful and terrible thing as Ansel Adams shows this so incredibly in his photographs, or in charitable, sacrificial act, when set against a concentration camp background is, overwhelmingly powerful. So her faith, trust and love in the Lord, having been placed in stark juxtaposition to the bleakness of her illness, cause us to see more clearly her living redeemed soul in a dying body.
That isn't to say we don't grieve, I've been grieving for her pain and the pain her family is experiencing from the time she found out she was ill. But this grief is not the grief that the world has, I know her soul is alive and while her earthly body is coming to an end, her soul is preparing to go to her heavenly Father. This cracked and tired husk will fall away and she will rise up renewed, to run (as she loved to run when strong and healthy) and to not grown weary. We'll most likely not meet again on earth, however we WILL meet again. Heaven is where she'll be and as I'm going there too, our meeting is assured. Right now, I'm on the slow path, but in the end we will both be sitting at the same table, at the feast of the Lamb, rejoicing together. Death where is your sting? It has been swallowed up in victory!