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More About Treasures - from a Heavenly Perspective

Our new couch arrived yesterday. You can see it as the featured bargain on The Grace sofa. I loved the name, but didn't buy it for that. It is our very first new sofa, replacing the second Salvation Army thrift store one which did us well after the first SA one, both of which now live in the basement. The room really needed this new sofa, to match the quality, at least in looks, of the ancestral furniture that came after Mum's move from Windsor, and her final move to Heaven. I think she would approve of my choice. I did the best I could with the upper edge of the lower line of sofas. For many, this would not be a big deal. For me it was. Like when I moved that amazing antique family dresser into our bedroom, and mused about that two weeks ago. An astute observer of my life commented on how I had brought something of value into my heart, connecting the intimate bedroom with my heart. That really struck me, along with the whole experience of valuing things, and myself, and our home, and the connections between.

For years I prided myself on not having valuable stuff, yet somehow found it fitting that after years of getting by with second best I inherited so much beauty through my family line. As you have read, I have been learning to connect it with my spirituality, and my innermost being, for I never want to live out of harmony with the core of my being. So now it seems that these new treasures are some of the "treasures of darkness" the Lord promised me from Isaiah 45. From the darkness of much unhappiness in my family of origin I have been graced with what was beautiful. And I am finally taking that beauty deeply into my heart, allowing it to heal memories of much that was not beautiful in attitudes of those who, like these pieces of furniture, were giants in my life.

I have learned to understand that they did the best they could with what they had at the time. Their harshness and criticism came out of concern and the patterns of parenting they had received. But they were also reliable, solid, and sensible, like the furniture, and graceful in very practical ways. I had always appreciated that and relied upon it. Now I live with the daily memory of that in the midst of these reminders.

I've written before about knowing Mum went to join Dad in Heaven, about how it was hard to believe that sometimes because their faith was not very up front most of the time, and of the assurance I had in my heart of the final destination of all the family members known to me. That has been a constant relief and blessing to my heart, and will always be, until I go to join them one amazing day. And sometimes all of that brings tears to my eyes which I welcome in the midst of my otherwise rather stoic approach to life, another treasure (or curse) from my family line.

Such tears sprang hot to my cheeks as I read this lovely poem given to me after Christmas by a friend at church. Somehow a fuller meaning of my mother's presence in Heaven had not really registered. Yes, I knew intellectually that she would be healed and whole and happy, as I had never seen her before. It took this poem to break open that reality in a fresh way to me:

Merry Christmas from Heaven
Copyright 1990 by John Wm Mooney Jr.

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I'll even remind you
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place

You don't have to be
perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip
If you continue the climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
In a new special way

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
Cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.

The poem said what Mum probably always wanted to say, but the words hardly ever came. She thought she had to be perfect, so she put that on to me. She didn't really know what God's grace could do for her, and therefore for me, so I had to fight to find that for myself. Now I can relax and know that Grace has healed Mum. And yes, she is close beside me "in a new special way." Those words echo what she said before she went into surgery about fifteen months before her death, the surgery from which she never really recovered. As she said goodbye before they wheeled her away, she said "Wherever I am, I won't be far away." Those treasured words kept me going through all the hard moments that followed, through her anger and defiance, her confusion and distrust, until she finally surrendered her life into God's hands, as I held her in my arms, saying through my tears, "Good Mummy, good Mummy."

Now, as I rearrange the old furniture, or use the 150 year old teapots, or sit in Mum's favourite wing chair by our new Grace sofa, I can hear Mum speaking to me from Heaven, and say back to her again, "Good Mummy, good Mummy."

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