Rose light spreads across the horizon...shadowed hues softening the dark...scudding clouds drift...filtered pinks wash the sky. One day ends. Another begins. Each day a gift. Finite. The sun rises. It sets. Earth orbits the sun. Tides ebb and flow. The Lord gives, and takes away.
I can't help think of Marisa. Marisa of 33 years. Marisa who fought to beat breast cancer. Marisa...wife...mother...daughter...sister...friend. For her, no more sunrises. No more sunsets.
In her short time here, she found courage to suffer. Courage to die with grace...she truly lived. Christ dwelled in her...overflowed from her even as her earthly life ebbed away.
Marisa whose last blog spoke of the antics of her oldest child. Zion wore his underwear backwards to celebrate "backwards day" at his school. She found joy in routine, holy in the ordinary, beauty in the everyday, joy in the simple.
Our days are numbered. We know not..how many...or how few.
Mendelt and Marisa. She took her last earthly breath in his arms on December 6 - not quite a year after her diagnosis.
Mendelt who lives on. Mendelt who finds courage in living, in grieving, in living without...the one who shared his life for over 10 years.
Mendelt who said on their blog, "...shine on Marisa, shine on."
Mendelt who said, "She went to a mansion. With many rooms. Probably pianos."
Mendelt who found strength to reach out...to say, "Don't cry for Marisa...She doesn't have cancer anymore. Shine on Marisa, shine on..."
His thoughts were of her joy...He knew she was home. Her sojourn on this earth complete. A pilgrim no more. Hope fulfilled.
O Lord you give and take away.
O me of unclean lips. O me, such a daughter of Eve.
Me...Forgiven...Redeemed...because of Grace...His grace...Amazing grace...What a Saviour!
Today...the sabbath...a day set apart...to remember...His life...His blood...His grace...it becomes our joy.
Our joy is found, not in ourselves, not in our circumstances, not in the created...
but in the Creator...Elohim, the sovereign one...Elelyon,the God who sees...El Roi,the all-sufficient one...El Shaddai. O Jehovah Y'Shua...the Lord my Saviour.
Words of joy, of instruction, words of life...
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethern, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever
is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good
repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
let your mind dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:4-8 NASV
Last Sunday in advent. Pink candle lit...joy in hope fulfilled. Pink or rose...like the sunset...and the sunrise...the joy in the advent of Christ...the one who came...Immanuel, God with us.
O Lord, may we not take our joys for granted. Let's not ever let the joy of CHRISTmas fade, the joy of Christ living in us become dull...may the gift of life in us, stir to joy.
Celebrate. Rejoice. Dance. Worship. Praise Him.Love.
We have today...a gift. We have hope in Christ...if nothing else.
I still think of Marisa, already home...no more pain and sorrow.
I still think of Mendelt...of Zion,5...Jacoba,3...Zekijah...1 - three dutch blonde kids finding their way, learning a new rhythm. Lord, they need you now. Kum-Ba-Yah - Come by Here.
Hope in you...dwelling in us. Let us celebrate. Rejoice. Lord help us to dance for those who can't right now - who need our love and our prayers, who need us to seek you...to be filled with your fullness so we can share your abundance.
At the end of this blog, I'd like to give credit to Ann Voskamp from Holy Experience who greatly influences my writing and who introduced me to Marisa.
My life is much richer because of you both. Thanks for the inspiration.