I have a few quiet moments in the lounge of Guelph Bible Conference Centre. Soon the colleagues who are here with me attending the three day Mediation Training from Conrad Grebel College;University of Waterloo, will begin to drift in as the scent of breakfast cooking lures them down, but I have these moments to share with you, dear readers.
As I have reconnected with coworkers working throughout the province of Ontario with our agency, over the past two days, sitting beside different people at breaks, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, the topic of Mum's death has surfaced many times.
People knew of her death and had been praying at work, and wanted to share their caring and concern as we met here. One by one they tenderly broached the subject and it has been so good to share the many blessings associated with her passing from this world to the next. People's eyes have moistened as many of them recounted their own stories of losing a parent. It has been an honour and blessing to hear those precious stories. There is still one that I'm hoping to hear over lunch today.
Yesterday I sat beside Mark at lunch; one of the pastors on our staff and this young man; young enough to be my son; asked how I was doing, his brown eyes pools of caring and concern.
"Am I missing something?" I asked, "I just feel such peace and gratitude in all the details of Mum's death."
I didn't want to be avoiding grief, but "grief" doesn't seem an appropriate word to apply to how I feel. I don't want to dishonour Mum in any way, but feels as though someone "full of years," as Abraham was, reached the finish line of her race and crossed it. It feels such a natural and grace filled thing.
Mark put my mind at rest. He said that grieving jumps all over the place, doesn't follow a neat pattern, and affirmed accepting and going with the feelings as they come.
As if to confirm the verse that has been on my mind over the past days; it appeared in this evening's Daily Light:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
New International Version (NIV)
Believers Who Have Died
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.