September will mark 10 years since Mom entered the rest promised to those who love the Lord. So long, in fact, that many of you blog readers have never met her. As I was considering this, the first word that popped into my mind to describe her was “powerhouse.” This may conjure images of a pencil-skirt wearing businesswoman who doesn’t take nothing from nobody and who is getting things done, walking briskly through the office in stilettos. Not that kind of powerhouse. Mom was more like a miniature sun. Powerful, yes, getting things done, yes, but warm, inviting, bringing growth and light. She came into a room and you just felt better, felt like basking in her presence. When you were with Mom, there would be empathy, laughter, genuine peace, Scripture, and probably some good food.
When Mom first died, people would comfort me by saying that now she was looking down on us from Heaven. Heaven just seemed so far away, so remote from the world, and I would say “Thank you” and think in my heart, “Oh, she’s got far better things to look at and participate in where she is. There is a vast gap between Heaven and here.” But in the intervening years, I’ve grown to think differently. Maybe the connection between heaven and earth is stronger than I used to think. Just as the angels rejoice over one sinner, it seems that the victories that Christ accomplishes on earth are celebrated in Heaven.
One of the satisfying things about growing older is having a longer view of what the Lord is doing on the earth and having a bit more experience watching how His plan is unfolding. I consider that might extend into Heaven. Maybe the saints can praise the Lord for the way that He is still moving and changing people, for the redemption stories that dot the earth.
Perhaps Mom can participate in the satisfaction of watching our kids as teenagers, maybe she can still feel proud of the men and women they are becoming. Why not if all good gifts and pleasures are created by the Lord, including seeing people grow up? Annie responding well to a word of correction, Peter talking about praying for enemies, Sarah expressing her creative gifts, David accepting the love of his friends, Will caring for his hospital patients. These are deep joys I know Mom would appreciate. All of this growth comes out of pain and struggle and fight against the flesh, which glorifies and beautifies the victory.
And if it’s not true and it’s only God the Three in One who sees, but it gives us comfort to think of the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we run the race, what’s the harm in that? So, God, thank you for being so intimately among us and for fully participating in our puny lives. And, Mom, if you see me, I sure do love you. Thanks for shouting from the sidelines.