When I wrote about belief a while back, my friend Den wrote something I really loved (all the commenters wrote beautiful things – if you need a lift, go check it out!). He said that asking, “Is this all there is?” about life seemed sort of like looking a gift horse in the mouth. The complexity of the universe and even the complexity of each other – it takes a lifetime to even begin to understand how much there is to understand. And that journey is such a moving, brilliant thing.
I really like the idea of heaven and eternity. I really hope for it. I often count on an eternal righting of things that the bible suggests will happen. And when someone dies, I pray it’s real and that I can see them again. This is a picture of Jake with his great-grandpa, with whom Jake shares a name. Grandpa’s funeral is tomorrow. I’ll sing in it. Jake will sit on someone’s lap, or near them, not really understanding what has happened. And we’ll all talk of how Grandpa has passed on and what he meant to us and what he added to our lives. His grandson, a soldier, will fold the flag during the military service. And we’ll all cry.
Den’s words about belief have made me think about this death differently than before. I wonder sometimes if we rush to the thought of eternity so we don’t have to face the resolution of today. Or if in counting on eternity, we take for granted our time with each other in life.
I feel so grateful that Jake shares a name with Michael’s grandpa. It’s a living reminder that we treasured him when he was with us to treasure. Instead of thinking so much about the day when we hope to see him again, I’ve been thinking about the days we saw him here. I’ve been thinking about life and how cool it was to share it with him at least for this amount of time.
Eternity is a wonderful, beautiful hope. But I’m reminded of something my uncle teaches about the salvation-by-works theology versus salvation-by-grace. (Believe like you’re saved by grace, live like it’s all up to you…), and I would paraphrase, “Believe that you’ll see your loved ones again, but love them like this is all you’ve got.”