April 14, 2013
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Many of us have been praying for Pastor Rick Warren and his family over the loss of his precious son, Matthew. Pastor Rick shared this tweet a few days ago, “After 4 days, finally got to see my son’s body. He wasn't in it anymore. “Absent from the body is to be home with the Lord.”
It struck a tender cord in my heart.
My own mother left her earthly body in December and those very words are what jolted me back to reality.
I stayed alone with Mom’s body for a few hours before the funeral home’s employees arrived. It seemed fitting since I had been by her side during a very long illness. She knew and I knew she would leave this world, but nothing prepares one for the jolt of seeing a loved one’s lifeless body. That includes those of us who are fully equipped by the Lord to minister to the ill.
I didn't cry, but I felt like I was swimming aimlessly in the ocean after my brother left my side.
I pulled my thoughts together and sent texts to those closest to me. Thankfully, I remembered to text the executive who oversees the department at my day job. He loves Christ. He immediately responded, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord. Glad she’s not suffering.”
I needed to be reminded of that message of faith and hope – it changed my perspective immediately. I was able to get through the inevitable preparations and celebration of Mom’s life.
That Scripture gave me the hope of seeing Mother's tender smile again. We walk by faith, not by sight (v.7). Pastor Rick will see Matthew again, too.
We know that for sure.