Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Father's House

I was making myself a plate of post-run nachos and began thinking about my sweet Grandma Agnes in Michigan who is passing on from this life.  Soon, she'll be my Glorified Grandma Agnes in heaven.  Immediately this verse popped into my head:  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  (John 14:2)  I grabbed my Bible and headed back here to my laptop.  Suddenly my nachos have less appeal.  God's word is satisfying and sweet.  Even monterrey jack and jalapenos can't compare to the promises of God.  What a firm foundation is God's word for my soul.  I don't have to be troubled and fearful and overcome with emotion.  Hope abounds in the midst of my tears. 

Already occupying rooms there are my dad and sweet Grandpa Ritter.  (Of course there are others, including uncles, an aunt and my Grandpa Fleszar, but my dad and Grandpa were very, very dear for many years.)  Jesus wants me to grieve alone.  My mom and brother are in Michigan.  When I was losing my dad, Mom was busy caring for him and Ryan was busy with work.  And I grieved alone.  The day that my Grandpa died, my parents were busy in Texas making arrangements, and Ryan had to leave for work.  So I grieved alone.  These times of grieving were, in a sense, satisfying.  I completely put my hope in the Truth and experienced the emotions deeply. 

So, I think of Grandma.  I wonder about the things I wish I knew about her.  I relish the things I do know.  I study pictures I have of her in my mind.  I remember the sounds, sights, smells, and feel of Grandma.  I imagine what it's like for my mom to sit with her in a quiet, darkened room and listen to her breathe, just like she did with my dad 18 months ago.  I wish I were there.  I love her.  I miss her.  I'm thankful for Jesus and eternal hope.  I'm thankful that my Grandma is continually in the presence of her daughters and kind care-givers until she goes to the presence of her Eternal Caregiver. 

Most of my memories are of Grandma in the house in which she raised her kids and lived until I was an adult.  I remember the Butter Braids and the cinnamon grahams she fed us.  There were cut up pieces of garden hose, "snakes", to scare away animals from her garden.  There were toys she kept for us in the garage. I see the place in front of the stove where she stood and cooked. The table where we played lots of Scrabble.   I wonder what she'll do in God's home.  I imagine the deep, fully-satisfying reality of her soul feeling completely at-home.  A home for the soul that feels completely right and comfortable.  Forever.  At home.

Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you... Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:1,2,6

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