Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
~ John 19: 25-27
This week a dear friend of mine lost her sister to cancer. The news came suddenly, and it seemed almost without warning. She had just weeks ago finished her treatments, returned to her home after living the past year with her sister while being treated, and had managed to make a trip to Europe. Upon returning, within a short period of time, the cancer had returned and was not something that could easily be addressed. Surrounded by her friends and family, she began her next chapter.
One of the things that we seem to forget as the period of Easter continues, is that Christ died. It is contained in a small chapter, with Jesus dying on a cross, and the words, "It is finished" being uttered.
It is about goodbyes, where Jesus takes care of business, giving the responsibility of his mother to one of his disciples. It was about one last prayer, one last look, and one last conversation. While my friend's sister lay in a clean hospital bed, with medical staff and medications to help ease the pain, a struggle still existed.
For any of us, the journey of our life, whether at the end of a long, full life, or at an early age, can seem to come too quickly. The struggle is letting go and moving forward into an unknown, while hoping that something about us will remain for others to remember us by.
While hope and faith will both come to an end when we die, love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine, indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.
We are reminded "Don't let your heart be troubled. The love of God that dwells in my heart will come to you and offer you consolation and comfort."
Praying that while we continue to celebrate the resurrected Christ, this journey began with his last breath.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, while we experience the beauty of each sunrise, or that of the sun setting, so it is with our lives. May the love that we share be forever within our hearts and the hearts of others. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.