Buckled in the car, driving 60mph on the parkway, during the middle of a Thursday afternoon, we had church. We didn't plan it, we lived it. "Running to Your Arms" had started playing on the radio, we sang and tears I never saw coming slipped down my cheeks. In the silence of the ending chords Harrison summed up as best anyone could, "that was really good."
The back story is, someone died. A friend of a friend died. A girl I never even met before, died. So why did her death pour an ache in my heart. Through the distant posts I had followed the battle of a young life fighting for more. I saw the beaming girl I never met being chased down by death. And I saw sunken eyes shine from something deeper than anything on this Earth.
And so my prayers for a girl I never met in my life joined the prayers of those who couldn't imagine life without her. And then this morning the young bride fell asleep and awoke in the arms of Jesus and I couldn't shake the tangled emotions of grief, peace, and confusion.
Death is sad; it leaves indescribable heart ache of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children reeling from the sudden chasm in their lives. But I had no immediate connection with the friend of a friend so why was I sitting at a stoplight crying, barely able to make out the words, "You are joy, You are joy, You're the reason that I sing. You are life, You are life, in You death has lost its sting..."
And I realized the pounding in my heart had nothing to do with my ever personally meeting her. The testimony her brief 26 years shouted to His glory, and the excitement knowing this faith giant was a sister I will one day have the pleasure of meeting, stirred a celebration deep in a place of my heart that's balanced between the present and eternity.
God doesn't need a certain number of days for a life to bring Him glory. When we belong to Him we belong to His mysterious ways. And in that unknown lies a fearless strength I saw in the eyes of this dying girl. Life is a gift whether it's weeks, months, years, or decades. Once we look through the trappings of the world into the glory ahead why do we cling so tightly to the temporary?
This life I've been gifted I cherish. These boys my life is poured into as they become men I cherish. My husband I am blessed to share life with I cherish. My God who spoke life into existence is the Great I AM. And the girl I never met is sitting at His feet having run the race set before her. I know now my tears had nothing to do with death, and everything to do with life.