Thursday, November 03, 2005

For Jen, especially...

"...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." --Isaiah 40:31



...and Dan, who seems to be going through a similar sort of catharsis as mine right now, and ME, and anyone else who can be comforted. And I hope it's not seen as "preaching"--it is Christian-centric, because, well, that's what we are. But...stick with me for a minute and you'll see why I wanted to share this.

My mom, in one of those instances of timing that the unsure, or unaccustomed, to living by faith, among us might call "coincidence," recently came quite accidentally across a page of notes made by my dad in preparation for a Bible study on Revelation; in this particular instance, Chapter 7, Verses 9-17 (NIV):

The Great Multitude in White Robes

9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb." 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
"Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!"

13 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?"

14 I answered, "Sir, you know."

And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore,
"they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
16 Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."


Dad had outlined four themes he evidently planned to emphasize in teaching his class. I will transcribe them here as he wrote them--like bullet points, in shorthand, and all caps, as was his habit:

1. CLOTHED IN WHITE--Washed by Jesus' blood & cleansed
2. HOLDING PALM BRANCHES--Celebrating Victory in Jesus
3. COUNTLESS IN NUMBERS--THOSE THAT ARE GOING TO BE IN HEAVEN, NO ONE COULD COUNT--FROM EVERY NATION, EVERY TRIBE, EVERY LANGUAGE
*All of this is possible through Jesus Christ, and only through Jesus Christ*
4. BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD--Serving God Day & Night (close to God) v-15

NO MORE BAD OR WANTS OR NEEDS OR PAIN OR SADNESS--GOD WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR!

I love that last part, and it is so wonderful to hear it now, from him. He was obviously making notes in a hurry, and I just adore how he squashed all the evils and suffering of this world into the phrase "NO MORE BAD." It wasn't great writing, but it was fantastic expression, and it would have evolved into a beautiful spoken message, I know. I love him so much for this additional, unexpected gift to me. Not only telling me that there will come a time when I will no longer be sad, or hurt, or insecure...but that he is already there, with God in the land of NO MORE BAD.

That shall me my mantra, I think. For both my life here, and as a reminder of what follows.

NO MORE BAD.

I can hear him right now, as I heard him so often in my life, saying, "Baby, you've got to stop crying now." Gosh, he hated it when I was hurt in any way and cried.

Gettin' there.

(And Jen...I wouldn't be surprised if he were one of the first people to welcome Lorraine--I've asked him to-- and if they spent a while watching the "pearly gates" for the expressions on the faces of people who are surprised that "their kind" are NOT the only ones allowed in!)

10 comments:

  1. that was lovely, timely, and honest. thank you so much for this. you are such a lovely poodle freakin and crazy bap. you know i love you.

    i like the image of lorraine meeting people in heaven. thanks for setting up another friendship. i think his many pockets and her a pocket maker (professional sewer and enterprener) makes them a good fit.

    xoxoxo

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  2. I swear, if you call me a "bap" again, I'll...oh, who am I kidding, I'd just kiss your whole face, you big dork. But at least capitalize it, wouldja? You are an amazing person, and you are on many minds and hearts right now, all over this crazy globe. You hear that? Probably from every nation, tribe, people and language. Well, maybe not in Sanskrit, and I hear you're not all that popular in Djibuti (what did you do to those Djibutans, anyway?).

    But I, as do most of the internets and beyond, love you. Heaping piles of peace on you, Sweetie.

    Can I get an "AMEN?"

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  3. And you should really blog about Lorraine's invention of the amazing pockets (and mittens!!) of warmness. I know my hubby will be way impressed when he sees that NFL seal of approval!

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  4. That was a lovely passage and since I too don't believe in coincidences - it was like God knew that I read your blog daily and was sending this to me via you, as lately I've been wondering if HE loves me than why am I going through so much pain?
    I think no matter the religion if you have a love of the Almighty or a higher power, one can find comfort in other religions spiritual texts. We don't sing in Islam, but hearing Amazing Grace, the words and emotions conveyed in it, never fails to bring me to tears.
    I imagine I would have really enjoyed speaking with your father :-)

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  5. Oh, my sweet Belinda. Your daddy would love your sharing your faith to comfort and strenghten others. The tears flow as I read this message but they are not just tears of grief and loss. They are tears of thankfulness and love--for Zane, for you, for the rest of my precious family, and most of all, for my loving Heavenly Father who holds us tightly when we are hurting.
    I so look forward to the endless days of "no more bad" when I will spend eternity with God and my darling Zane.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  6. This heathen has no issues with expressions of faith. The Bible is filled with many comforting passages, such as those in your posting.

    (I just can't stand smug, "You're going to H_ll," evangelical Christians. I always imagine Jesus cringing when folks like that use His name.)

    Your Dad sounds like a lovely man.

    Have a terrific weekend!

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  7. VG--He would have loved talking to you, too--I know because *I* do! I love the part about "every people, language, tribe and nation." That pretty much covers it, doesn't it? I can think of a handful of religions and sects that truly believe that they are the only ones who will enjoy a blissful afterlife, and/or that there is a limited number who are destined for Heaven. Won't they be surprised!

    Hey, Dan, I just thought of something else--you could also tell people another of my dad's famous lines: That he is only "acting" crazy now, so that when he really does get senile, we won't know the difference, so won't "put him in the home."

    Pat, he was AMAZING. And I seem to remember being called a "little heathen" when I was just running around out of control wreaking havoc...do you do that a lot? ;-)
    I'll be blogging soon about something I picked up from your site a few days ago and have been tracking...it's taking me this long because I am so unbelievably furious (not at you--sharing your outrage)!

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  8. I like you, too! What is the deal with you darned nice Canadians?

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  9. KD - aka HerculiteNovember 5, 2005 at 4:51 PM

    To those of you who never met Zane - yep, you would have liked him, a lot, even though he probably would have called you something goofy, like Herculite. Oh, and I hope nobody drives a Chrysler ....whew!
    It was for different reasons, but I think he gave me nearly as hard a time as my own dad did about that car.

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