Yesterday, my friend Denise went home to be with the Lord.
The day before her death, I went to visit her bedside. She’d been bound
to her bed for months at this point. Cancer permeated so much of her
body that, months ago, doctors told her there was nothing more that they
could do. When I went to see her, her daughter told me to return
another time. She said that it was a very bad day for Denise. She was in
alot of pain and wasn’t herself at all. I told her I’d be back the
I was too late. Denise died in the morning.
When I showed up an hour after she passed, her body was still in the
bedroom. I walked in and saw a figure that was only a shadow of who
Denise had been. An avid runner and hiker, Denise had more muscles than
anyone I’ve ever known. She lifted weights, ate right and led others to
do the same. She was healthy.
Which is why her diagnosis was such a shock.
And when I saw her she was almost unrecognizable. I was shocked at the
toll this disease could have on a human being. She was nothing more than
a scrawny skeleton covered with a thin layer of gaunt skin. I was sad –
but grateful that her spirit was now in the presence of Jesus Himself. I
remembered her in her “glory days” of health and wellness, and the words
of 2 Corinthians 5:1 rang in my head:
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Thank you, Lord, that Denise is more alive now in your presence than she
ever was on earth – not just when her body was sickened and diseased and
skeletal – but even when she was strong and athletic and full of
energy. Thank you that no matter what state our bodies are in, we can
always know for sure that there is an eternal body and home that is
being prepared for us. And, in a world where there is not much we can
count on anymore, I’m grateful that there’s a promise like that, that I
can take straight to the bank.