Rick and I attended a beautiful memorial service for his cousin this week-end. My brother and sister-in-law also attended, the wife being a close friend of my sister-in-law, Rick’s cousin a good friend of my brother. Dave and his wife met at my brother’s wedding, and we all grew up together in the same small town.
There wasn’t much warning for this gentleman. He was told he had cancer and ten months to live; then reassessed and told two months. He had less time than that. We were fortunate enough to see him twice in the last month. A family man, he loved his wife, his children and grandchildren. The common thread through the memorial was he showed up for everything. He was a man people could count on. He loved and was loved, and was a Christian.
The pastor mentioned things Dave would no longer experience in heaven and I started making a list in my head. In heaven, we won’t have:
Loss of hearing
Complaining or gossip
Prisons, hospitals, barracks
Drugs, prescription or illegal
Advertising, traffic, pollution
Gangs, cliques, haves, have-nots
Sex trafficking, abortion, abuse
Hypocrisy, infidelity, instability
Elections, liars, cheats or charlatans
Drought, famine, fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes
Insomnia, dementia, dysfunction or addictions
Homelessness, despair, depression, disenfranchisement… …
Dave is in the Presence of the God who loves him, the Lord who died to save him. He is home free and fully alive. And so is every other Christian who has ever died — by whatever means; illness, accident, war, old age, or martyrdom. They are among the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. Love the Lord with heart, mind, soul and strength! Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus! Endure! Keep the faith! Press on! Heaven awaits. And Jesus is coming back to set things right.