Myrtle Swanbom died yesterday morning.
She was older than I know, and has been a member of our church for longer than I can remember.
As far back as I remember, Mrs. Swanbom has loved me and wanted to know "how I was". She was a dear woman, very frail, and always reminded me of a little white bird.
Some people I know would say, "Myrtle went to be with the Lord, praise God."
As I was thinking about Mrs. Swanbom dying, her husband grieving, and how we should respond, I also thought about how may Christians state the fact that someone died. I thought about how a non-Christian would hear that statement.
First, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.
Second, non-christians are those who have no hope.
Our joy as we grieve is unexplainable, if you do not have it yourself. In fact, our joy could be seen as being downright crass ("thank God she is with Him" can be heard as "thank God she is dead"). There is no reason to smile through the tears, unless you know beyond anything that death is not the end, that it is barely the beginning.
We know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We know that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints".
This does not mean that we do not grieve, definitely not.
It means that though we grieve, we have hope.
Better, it means that we have the Hope.
6 years ago