As I sit here trying to process the unexpected loss of a dear blogging friend (you can read about it on Lilka’s blog here), I think about how Susan’s presence in the blogosphere truly shined a bright light on what it looks like to follow Christ.
Even though I never personally met her, we became good friends. She was always an encouragement to me. Her poetry was beautiful and poignant and uplifting. In spite of the fact that she struggled with physical issues, her royal heart clearly beat with God’s heart. She was a champion against injustice and a defender of the marginalized. She reminded us to love and never hate. With her departure, our collective loss is great, but yet we do not despair.
I’ve been thinking about this in light of my recent conversations with skeptics and atheists about the world we live in. I’m so glad that Susan knew there is so much more to life than this life; that this brief introduction is but a vapor by comparison to the greater things that lie ahead for us. For Christians don’t really die, we just change forms. And we will spend eternity together in fellowship: getting to know one another, conversing, laughing, loving, and going on adventures together. There will be no more use for tears of sadness, no more brokenness, or angst or pain…only joy-filled wonder and awe as the manifold glory of God continues to unfold before us.
The one thing we can take away from Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection is what God thinks about death. Wherever Jesus met it in His earthly life, He rebuked it and canceled it. And when He willingly laid down His life for us, God raised Him up from the grave and promised to do the same for us. This is our hope that never disappoints! (See Rom.5:5; Heb.6:17-19)
Here’s what Paul said about it:
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor.15:54-58 NKJV)
So, Susan, while you will be dearly missed, your “abounding in the work of the Lord” was not in vain, and the indelible impression you left on our lives will never be forgotten. For this, while we are sad we still rejoice. Well done, good and faithful servant.
Enjoy the Dance. We will see you soon, dear sister.