In honor of a friend who will soon see the face of God.

my brother in Christ,

today you were told you are dying
you have been dying for months
cancer has been growing inside of you, devouring your body
you get treatments
take prescriptions
you keep working
going to church
talking to friends
encouraging the brethren
being intimate with your wife
watching your favorite sports teams

all the while
you know you are dying

you keep fighting
trying anything that might prolong your days
even though you know the Lord has already determined your final day, your final moment, and has a purpose for your life ending sooner than anyone expected or desired

you hear the words you have been hoping would never come
"you only have a few days to live"

you believe the doctor, but your will-to-live screams, "He is WRONG!!!  I'm not ready to go!
and yet you say, "Not my will, Lord, but Thine be done."

you look at your wife
your children
you imagine your daughters walking down the aisle
your son throwing his first touchdown pass
your grandchildren

but the Lord keeps pulling your thoughts toward heaven

what will it be like?
will I see His face the moment I take my final breath?
will everything be revealed to me?
does heaven look like what I have always imagined in my mind?
will I remember my earthly life?
will I still have emotion in heaven?
will I literally praise God all day long, or will I also get to roam the golden streets and talk with saints of old?

O, Lord ...

I want to see Your face
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know what angels really look like
hear their voices raised in hymns of praise and adoration
I want to be whole again, without pain, without sadness or fear

but, Lord ...

my family
my beautiful wife
my children
my parents
my friends
how I love them!  I cling to this earth because of them, even while I long to see You.
how do I let go?
how do I say goodbye?
what do they need to hear from me - the words they will remember forever - what should they be?

your only desire is to hold them
touch them
smell them
hear their laughter
see their smiles
listen to them talk
encourage them in the Lord
pray with them
protect them from the sorrow that is to come

but the Lord says,

"Trust Me, son.  I know what I am doing, and I have already prepared a way for each of them.  I will never leave them.  I will wipe away every tear and destroy every fear that threatens to overpower them.  When they are weak, My strength will double.  When they are aching with grief, my compassion will consume them.  When they feel like they cannot go on, I will scoop them up in My arms and carry them as far as they need to go.
It's okay, son.
You have loved them with a faithful, loyal, tender, strong, compassionate love all of your days.
You have done well.
And now ...

it is time to come HOME."

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