Those of us who are bound by gravity have no choice but to contend with the light and the dark. We spend a good share of our time walking in one or the other, sometimes knowingly, other times just walking. We wrestle with the things that remain uncertain and yet embrace those things that draw us in and give us peace. My friend Judy has joined the light brigade, those who are now living in the joy of continual Grace, laughing on the breezes of love. I’m excited for her today as I imagine the rush of old friends and family coming to embrace her there. I see the smiles everywhere for a job well done, a life well lived, a woman well loved. I can’t help but smile a little too because the scene is just so glorious, in fact, it’s heavenly.
A long time ago we attended the same school, grew up in the same small town. We were nurtured on hometown values and family and the things that make the world seem safe and small. We walked a bit of the path together back then, and then disappeared from each others view as we stepped out into new arenas of learning, new cities and experiences. A long time passed and then we were blessed to find ourselves at a little table sharing lunch and laughter and life and we were both awed at how far we’d come and yet how close we felt about where life had taken us. We both still embraced our childhood dreams, our hopes nurtured so long ago. We were different women, but so similar in so many ways and we were encouraged by that fact. We shared a bond that made us connect in a way we could never have known years before.
I’m a little sad that I can’t be there as friends and family gather to say goodbye this week, but I’m still smiling that we said hello many times over the past few years and that in her illness she knew that I was one of many friends sending up daily prayers for her well-being. I’m so grateful for her, for the love we shared as friends, for the light she brought to my life and the opportunity we had to know each other. We’re so blessed when we have real friends, people who see us and love us just as we are. It’s the people who wipe our tears and make us laugh at ourselves that bring meaning and light to our lives.
I know there’s an extra bright light in heaven just now and I know that we’re all blessed by having had Judy in our lives. Her light will shine with every thought, every sweet memory revisited, every child who knew her as a teacher or a mom or a grandmom, and every person who knew her as a friend.
I’m thanking God for her today, for the chance to have shared the heart of a very special woman, and I’m offering a standing ovation for all her life has meant. She’s worth the celebration here. I wonder if we can outdo the celebration in heaven though because the light just got brighter!
With love to Judy, her family and friends…may God bless you all.