On August 13, 2004, at 10:15 p.m. my wife and I and our dog Penny were covered up with a mattress in the center closet of our house as we hunkered down as hurricane Charlie bared down on our neighborhood. At 2:30 a.m. we walked out of the house to be overwhelmed by the smell of fresh cut wood.
Twelve oak trees were on the ground along our neighborhood. When daylight came, we surveyed the neighborhood, and a tornado had torn the clay tiles off of our neighbor's house ten houses away and slung them into homes next to it. All of the people in the neighborhood came together, and we had the road cleared in a few hours so we could get out. Although we were out of power for eight days in the heat of August, we all helped one another.
The sad thing was when everything got back to “normal” we tend to go back to our cocoons. When our backs are against the wall, we look to other people for help. The goodness of people shines best when our backs are against the wall.
During the past two months, I have witnessed the grip of cancer on my mother. On July 12th cancer took her. However, The cross has the final say. I have witnesses glimpse’s of heaven as she spoke to us.
Certainly, I am not the first to lose a parent, but it does not mean there is not grief. The disciple’s grief was turned to joy in John chapter 16. Jesus is trying to explain to the disciples he will no longer be with them. Jesus explains even at birth the mother goes through unbearable pain, but she forgets the anguish when her baby is born it turns to joy. During the whole conversation with the disciples, Jesus says with astonishment “You believe at last.” Here are the disciples who have seen miracles, eaten, prayed, and traveled with Jesus. And now they finally believed.
Later in John’s gospel Thomas (doubting Thomas), Thomas says “Until I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand in his side, I will not believe it.” And a week later Jesus appears to Thomas and tells him to put his fingers here and reach out your hand and put it to my side. STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE.
Then Jesus says, “Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Our hope and faith are in Jesus Christ and his promises.
In our worse time when we are mad at God and when we question his ways, and it is difficult to have faith. Patience is the hardest virtue, but if we can look back on how God has worked in our lives, it is easier to have faith.
I do know in the past few months I have a closer relationship with my sister, I know that would have made my mom happy. We are keeping a close eye on my dad who is adjusting to a new reality after being married 67 years. Through it, all faith has led us through hard times and loss. We will find joy. My mom said to each of us “When I pass to go ahead and morn for a week, then after that get on with your life.”
She was my perfect model for Faith.