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Sisters

Today has been a most unusual day. Hubby took the day off work so we could travel a distance to a hospital where one of my church members had been admitted. With a suspected blood clot on her brain, she was airlifted to the hospital where we intended to go. As we prepared this morning for our departure, her husband called to say she was in the process of being released to come home. The blood clot, after another MRI on a more sophisticated machine, was determined to be a “cloudy area.” All other signs were good and she was cleared for discharge - Praise the Lord!


With no more need to go to the hospital, Hubby and I decided to spend the day together anyway. We had a lovely day, but as we were journeying home from our day out, I noticed, with the help of my “Find My” app that my sister (also a pastor), and a close friend, were at the same nursing home where they visited to minister each week with a senior woman who had become dear to them. My heart dropped when I realized the lateness of the hour in their time zone. I realized this dear friend and church member was most likely transitioning to her eternal home.


The thing is, this lady’s sister took her step into eternity only last week. Now her other sister was keeping vigil by this bedside. So while my sister was preparing the funeral message, she got the call to come quickly. As Hubby and I prayed for my sister, and the sister and friend who were now keeping vigil, I thought again of the joy and sorrows which can be inherent in a single day.


This morning we prayed prayers of thanksgiving and celebration as the sweet member of my church with an initial very serious diagnosis, was cleared to go back to her earthly home. This evening we prayed for the dear member of my sister’s church as she journeyed ever nearer to her eternal home. And we prayed especially for the sister who was about to say goodbye to her second sister within a week.


Tonight, my pastor sister, ministers to the sister who has just lost one sister and is now sitting with another sister who is dying.


But we do not grieve as those who have no hope. We grieve only the temporary parting. I grieve when my sister leaves after a good visit with me here and heads to her home 2200 miles away. We never know when we say goodbye, if we will have another visit, but we believe, we trust, and we anticipate, in our deep sorrow of separation, that we will meet again.


So it is with those who die in Christ. It is a parting which causes deep grief and great sorrow. Never think that as Christians we should not grieve. But we do not grieve as though the parting is final. It is not. It is only temporary. The grief is final. It is the last, the final parting we will ever have. In that, is hope. When the grief is swallowed up, there will be no more bedside vigils, no more distance, no more parting. Only joy unspeakable and full of glory. What a day that will be. What a day, indeed. So grieve, dear friend, grieve. And as you grieve, . . . remember . . . grace.


1 Corinthians 15:54-58


Prayer: Thank you, dear Father, for sisters, biological and spiritual. Amen.



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