A Time to be born and a time to die. Eccl.3:1
Only One Life Twill Soon Be Past
Only What’s Done For Christ Will Last.
It has been years since I first heard this little poem, but it has stuck in my mind like a wet tongue on a frosty metal pole. I have often thought of its message, or Christ the subject of its message, to help me through some very deep valleys.
The death of my husband Neil was one such valley, and now the death of my daughter Karen from cancer on February 16th, almost put me in a pit of despair. However this little poem reminded me of the hope I have in Christ.
I was listening to Focus On The Family one morning and Lysa TerKeurst was talking about her eldest son who had just obtained his drivers licence. To celebrate he wanted to drive his four siblings over to get some ice-cream but he wanted to do so without ‘mom’ in the car! She was immediately filled with anxiety as her imagination kicked into overdrive. What horrible accident lurked right around the corner that would snuff out all of their lives??? As all the reasons why she should say “No not without me!” began to go through her mind, Psalm 139:16 popped into her head.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
At that point she remembered that God was in charge of the days of our lives and nothing we do will increase or decrease one of them.
These last years of Karen’s life she seemed to have an urgency about her where she was driven to create as many beautiful sculptures (like the one above) as she could possibly work into a day. She would pick up a chunk of stone, see the beauty within, proceed to chisel away all the dross, before polishing it to perfection. By that time the rest of us could see what God had shown her hidden away inside the stone all along.
She had many pieces on the go at one time as some of the rock, like marble, is very hard so she could only work on them for short periods of time. They required much strength to carve out even with the heavy drills and bits. I believe it was this acquired strength that kept her fighting beyond most peoples endurance this past year.
Some of these pieces are still unfinished including the last one she was making for Jim. Such beauty she was uncovering for him in that stone of opaque oranges, whites, and blues. Perhaps a sign of the beauty of their years of love for one another. While their time on earth together is finished, perhaps a later time together in eternity, just like these sculptures, is yet unfinished.
Psalm 139:16 has brought me a measure of peace with the loss of my dear daughter. Grief is ever present right now but I know there was nothing more could be done by either doctors, Jim or myself. I certainly would not have wanted her to continue suffering as she has done in this last year. But oh how I cling to memories of a healthy and happier time in my loving daughter’s life.
Karen is now free from all of these worldly woes in which the rest of us are still dealing. Her faith and mine tell me she is resting in her heavenly Father’s arms while also enjoying time with her earthly father, both of whom she loved so dearly. I know that soon, in fact… ‘In the blink of an eye in heavens time’, I will join them and we will forever be together with our Lord and Savior.
I am sure there are many who will scoff at this and think I am a religious fanatic, and that is okay with me. I think of the oft used statement… “The truth of a matter is not determined by how many people believe it”, leaving egg on many a scoffers face. I also might add- “But on every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Deut. 8:3. Along with 1 Corinthians 2: 9-10 “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him…”