Loss. We lose days as time passes. We lose time as days pass. Sometimes we lose our children from our view in the park – – even if just for a minute. Sometimes we lose our minds – – even if just for a minute. We lose pocket books and wallets. We lose keys and credit cards. Socks in the dryer. We lose innocence in maturity. Idealism in reality. Sometimes we lose sight. Sometimes we lose our way. But we never lose our faith.
I lost my dad in the cold of winter last year. My sweet dad with grey-blue eyes. He walked right into eternity before my eyes. The stepping into eternity was not a surprise to me. It was the sickness and dying that was not part of my understanding. I walked the hospital halls. I pet the big white horse of dog that came to comfort those on my dad’s floor. I listened to my dad talk for a while and then go back to rest. I watched my dad acknowledge doctors and visitors and drink juice and ice. Not knowing it at the time, I watched my dad see my children for the last time. I understood that my dad was coming home from the hospital for the last time. It is by His grace that we are saved and by His grace that our spirits enter into His presence. But it was very hard for me to find His grace in the physical act of dying.
My dad did not find it hard to find His grace in his sickness and dying. He believed – for real – that his God would never leave or forsake him. He believed in things like communion with God, honoring His commandments and sharing truths with love. He didn’t change in his dying. He simply became stronger in the spirit until eternal home and ultimate healing called him. And because of faith, my dad walked out of our earthly exit door and into His grace. Most assuredly, the painful experience of dying was erased as he walked through God’s front entrance and into the foyer of His joy.
Unlike the worthwhile pain of childbirth, death leaves you without a new life to distract you. Looking into sunsets and bright stars in the night resonate unreachable loss. The beating of the heart on the inside begs for just a little more time, a rewind. A go back. Inconsolable prayers asking God for the impossible. For a time, there is no room for healing. The pouring out of pain has to reach its end.
Our loving God gives us room to grieve. He whispers in places that were not complete even before the loss. He writes in fullness where there were pieces missing. He sings in perfection where there was lack. His handling of our humanness is a grand marker of His Godliness.
As He gently points me toward His plan, I find gratitude for the loss. Not for the loss of my dad. For God’s divine wisdom to allow temporary loss. It is in loss that we grow exponentially. Somehow the earthly losses cause us to gain in the spirit. Somehow the spiritual gain covers over the earthly loss. The covering does not extinguish the pain. It opens up the door to light in darkness. The covering is a shadow of the promise of eternity.
Through loss, God deepens our spiritual perception so that we can see what is just beyond the sunsets and bright stars in the night. He makes us aware that the beating of the heart on the inside is also beating for what is to come on the other side. I see my dad experiencing heaven. It is beautiful enough for me to receive God’s plan that brought him home too early and too young. My view gives me almost enough of my dad to settle my wish that he was here with me. I ponder that God planned it that way.
If I can grasp His wisdom, I may see that He pours Himself into my heart so that I desire to see Him in His fullness. The pouring out is a sort of introduction for seeing Him face to face. The pouring out sustains me and overflows me, but it doesn’t quench the cry in my heart for eternity. Isn’t it the same with our losses? His love sustains the loss, but His eternal promises sing us home. Until I see my dad again. Until I see my Heavenly Father face to face. I can be confident that anything lost will be found.