Last night my friend Elsie went to be with Jesus.
She found out a few weeks ago that she had very aggressive, inoperable lung cancer.
She lived in Arizona and turned 77 years old last Friday.
I've known Elsie since I was a teenager. She volunteered in our church office and was in my mom's church small group. When my mom had medical issues, Elsie helped check up on her. She and two other friends have lovingly been dubbed the "Silver Foxes" by my husband. I sat for a while last night looking at the picture of him with the Silver Foxes at our wedding.
Elsie was always happy to see me when I'd go visit. I can hear her saying my name even now. She was a sweet woman who loved Jesus and others well. She touched many lives.
I have cried many tears since last night. It's always sad when a friend is gone.
But, I have to admit that I've really struggled with my grief. Amidst my tears, I began to ask myself why I was so sad. If I know she's in a better place and our goal is to be with Jesus, then why am I not jealous? Why am I sad? I haven't lived near her for 8 years, so it's not like I will miss regular interactions.
I'm not trying to sound callous at all. But, I've had to ask myself a question that was posed in Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. (I am working through the book so I can do a series on the book without taking forever. I re-read the first two chapters just recently.)
Chan talks about how it is sometimes hard to love God. We forget who He is, how deserving He is of worship, and how He sustains us. After talking about this, Chan (in later chapters) talks about desiring to be with Jesus.
I'm just struck today with the question - do I look forward to heaven? Of course I would say yes, but I don't want to die today. I want more of Jesus in my life here. I love my family and friends and don't want this to be done. It's also made me ask another question of myself that I've found in Crazy Love, do I really hate sin? (see ch. 4) If I hated it, truly and absolutely, wouldn't that alone drive me to want to be in heaven where no sin exists? Wouldn't I hate this world?
But, I see so much redemption in this world. I see so much good amidst the evil. Even though my kids drive me nuts at times, I love them to pieces and am not ready to be done.
My heart is heavy today. I am sad. And, I am full of questions.