Yesterday was Jake’s 70th birthday. We’ve been celebrating BIG.
It was also the day of a dear friend’s funeral. That was hard.
Tomorrow I will be sitting in that same chapel watching a precious young friend get married. I am thrilled.
But of course, I am quite weary, on this in-between, this-is-life-on-earth day, and I want to corral my thoughts and write about my friend D.’s death.
Since 2007, D. had known of her terminal illness. Pulmonary fibrosis. Her lungs were slowly stiffening and increasingly depriving her of the oxygen she needed.
I cannot imagine the anxiety of not being able to take a deep breath.
I cannot imagine living connected to a machine, years of carrying around that machine, then years of bigger machines and being housebound, then chairbound.
I cannot imagine having a hard plastic clip in my nostrils day and night for years.
And I cannot imagine that I would accept all this as well as my friend D. did.
Would I continue to play Mah Jongg every Wednesday? Don’t think so. I tried to learn the game from her but it’s beyond me.
Would I host a knitting circle each Thursday and knit hundreds of caps for Ukraine children? Not a chance. D. helped me knit socks one summer, but one turned out hilariously oversized, and I use it as a case for my sunglasses.
Would I always welcome others with a smile and show no hint of self-pity? I doubt it.
Would I be able to live the drawn-out goodbyes, put everything in order, and plan all the details of my own funeral as well as D. did? Only God knows.
D. was a star of strength and hope and faith in Jesus. while sitting, sitting, sitting there in her chair.
John Stott wrote “The thing I know will give me the deepest joy — namely to be alone and unhurried in the presence of God, aware of His nearness, my heart open to worship — is often the thing I least want to do.”
My Irish-Brazilian friend L. called it “Chair Time” – that important time when we physically sit down to be still, to talk with God, to read His Word, to worship Him.
Dear D. had lots of ‘chair time’ with God, sitting there, longing and waiting for her home in heaven.
I will miss her, but I am grateful that her chair is now empty. D. is home-free and breathing strong.
Thank you, Lord, for the privilege and pleasure of being friends with D.and of watching You do beautiful things through her because she trusted in You.
Now I best get going. Need to wrap a gift. Got a wedding tomorrow.