I lost a friend today. I was shocked when I heard the news. She was a relatively new friend, someone I was getting to know and appreciate, but we had many mutual friends. Our most important mutual friend was Jesus Christ.
She prayed for me when she learned I had cancer, when I went through surgery, when I started treatment and when I learned the disease was in remission. She was often there beside me praying because that’s what she did.
I was the one who was sick. I never expected her to be the one who went to dance in the glory of paradise first. She left mid-conversation. One moment she was here and the next she was stepping through gates of splendour. I’ll bet God called her by his own name for her since she was not fond of the one she bore here.
I met a man from a part of the world where people in his family of believers were often killed for their faith. He said, “You North American Christians sing about heaven, but nobody seems to want to go there. It is not so with us. We do not fear death. To be with Christ will be a wonderful thing.”
Now my friend is seeing this wonderful thing. I grieve for and with her much-loved family and friends, but I rejoice for her. We have lost her for now, but not forever.
We sang this song together only a few days ago:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again
And as he stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am his, and he is mine
Bought by the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power in hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from his hand
Til he returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
(from In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty)
You are truly shining in the light of his glory, Margo. Dance, girl, dance.