Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Of an age"

We have just returned from the memorial service for Abbie Anderegg (brother Jim's widow) out in Tucson, AZ. The service was truly a celebration of her life. All four children, two of the three grandchildren, David, and I were in attendance. Brother Richard had come to see Abbie a few months ago when his wife was in better health. Unfortunately, Abbie probably was not certain of who he was.

It was noted during one of our meals together that David was the patriarch of that gathering. That reminder made me think of a phrase which my great grandmother, grandmother, and mother were all fond of. They would say, "You are now of an age" to do whatever the new task at hand was. That memory made me think that, indeed, it was appropriate that we make every effort to celebrate the passing of each of our generation.

That is important because it is one of our dwindling opportunities for passing to the next generations an oral history of our generation. During the meals together, we were able to share stories of our generation to the next generation and their children. Those experiences reminded me of when I was growing up when family members would gather to break bread together and afterwards to hear the generation ahead of relate stories of their youth.

Another aspect of those gatherings is the ability to celebrate the Salvation we share with them through the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that sharing, we can celebrate their life on this earth and their victory over death because of Jesus' sacrifice for us. Having known people who died without that assurance, I am struck by the contrast between their memorials and those of believers.

That brought back a memory of Josh's preschool years. We had taken Josh to VA to meet my grandmother in her last year of life. He had heard stories of her beautiful blue eyes which had closed due to ptosis when she was in her early sixties. When Josh met her, she was blind, almost deaf, and partially paralyzed from a stroke. Despite that, she was cheerful and funny.

When we got the news of her death, I wondered how to break the news to him. I started by reminding him of his meeting her. He contributed the things he remembered from that meeting. Then, I said, "I'm glad you got to meet her but I'm sorry to tell you but Granncie has died."

His reaction was unexpected and one I think I shall never forget. "Hot dog!" he said. "Now, she has her new body and she can see and hear and she can go anywhere she wants to without Miss Katherine's help!"

I was so taken aback! He had grasped the reality that death of the body is a victory if we know Jesus.  He knew, as only a child can, that we were being selfish in our tears because we were thinking--not of her but--of ourselves and the loss we were experiencing.

Dad and I are "of an age" to be able to celebrate that victory for those we love and for ourselves. God is still in control. Our salvation through Jesus supercedes all other events and the separation from our loved ones is only temporary. We will rejoin them in worship of our God in what, in the face of eternity, is a short time.

Love and blessings to all of you! We pray you will celebrate when we come of that age to go to be with Jesus.