Repost by special request from April, 2011
By Cindy Meyers, CEO Rodeo Attitude
Have you ever witnessed the passing of a loved one from life here to everlasting life? It is a moment of both unbearable sadness and total and complete joy. Whether it is the end of a long illness or a sudden death, those left behind feel an unbearable loss. At a recent funeral I heard three statements.
The first was, “If I could only have had one more day to tell her I loved her.” Each day God gives us a “present”. A gift of life to share with all around us. A gift of time to tell all those we care about that we do love them or better yet to show them we care. Too often we put the tasks in life we think are important above taking that moment to share with those we love. Often as well we let petty disagreements, sometimes things we may at the time feel are so important, come between us and those we really do love. Then suddenly there is no more time. It is too late we feel and all we have left are our memories. And so no matter how great our faith in God we cry. We cry for ourselves, for our loss. We feel the unbelievable sadness. What a blessing Easter morning gives us. THE TOMB WAS EMPTY! With these words the total and complete joy that the one we loved is not dead but has just passed on to be with Jesus. Because Jesus conquered death we know our Redeemer lives. The answer to “If only I had one more day to tell her I loved her.” She knows. God told her and she will know for all eternity. At the end of the movie “Ghost” the person played by Patrick Swaze says as he goes into the light of Heaven something to the effect that the love found on Earth stays with you. Love is a gift from God and I have no doubt that not only did Jesus take away the sting of death but that in the place he prepares for us He will take away the pain and suffering but never the love in our hearts nor the memories of those we love.
The other thing I heard was, “Why are you crying. He is with God.” How great my brothers faith. He lives every day the best he can. He always has time for what is truly important in life – his family and friends, and yes his God. He celebrates Easter in his heart every day for he knows – THE TOMB WAS EMPTY. He never doubts for one second. When our mom passed away last May all five of her children surrounded her bed. In her final moments we sang her the hymns she had taught us to sing with the love she had given us. It is hard to explain but as the tears flowed for our loss the room was filed with the spirit of the Lord as he came to take her Home. That Mom was at peace in the final moments was apparent in a way that words can not explain, but he was right, “Why are you crying. She is with God.”
The saddest thing I heard was, “ Boy are you going to be disappointed when you die and find out there is no Heaven. That none of it is real.” My first thought was, “Well if it isn’t real I won’t know. I’ll be dead. Just a lifeless body, no different than a piece of wood.” My second thought was despite your insistence that there is nothing after death you say “Boy are you going to be disappointed..” This implies that even this non-believer believes there is something after death! In fact I have yet to meet an atheist that totally believes there is nothing after death. Somewhere in that mind set there is that little shadow of doubt. That shadow of doubt created by the reality of Easter morning. THE TOMB WAS EMPTY! The world is full of doubting Thomases trying to explain away the empty tomb but often even as they do so there is that small flame of doubt living in there soul – maybe its true! These people will never open a Bible, they will not go to church. The only way they will learn to understand the true message of Easter morning is through us. Actions speak louder than words. Through our example of how we live life we show today’s Doubting Thomases the true meaning of God’s love and his greatest gift to us all. the gift of eternal life.
As you celebrate Easter may the unbelievable pain of the loss of loved ones be replaced by the unimaginable joy God gives us – THE TOMB WAS EMPTY!