Friday, December 23, 2011
Going Home for Christmas
They said goodbye to the decaying earth and this brief discordant prelude to eternity, and "moved" to their heavenly abode.
After the Bible camp a couple of weeks ago, I learned that Deana, a gal I had worked with at the newspaper for a long time had passed away only a few days before. A long hidden illness had cut her life short quickly.
The news was jarring and I found myself frozen in moments of shock in the days following. She was among the first people I met at The Chief and she taught me much about the inner workings of a newspaper. We spent many hours in the office, working side by side - our desks hardly ten feet apart for a number of years.
At 42, Deana's life seemed cut short, and I wondered why. She seemed to have so much more life to live, dreams to pursue, goals to meet, family and friends to be with and enjoy. But her Creator called her home.
Though I will miss her smiling face behind the desk, I will remember and treasure the things I learned from her, especially those beyond the printed page. Devotion to Jesus and her church, loyalty and love for her large family and her wide circle of friends, creativity shared in generous ways, selfless dedication to her work - these qualities of Deana's remain in my heart and my memory.
Then this week I learned of the passing of Grandpa Grass, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather of some dear friends of mine. I also called him Grandpa and so enjoyed the times I saw and visited with him. One such a time was just days before I left again for Uganda this past summer. I cherish those memories.
He was 91 and had bravely endured pain and suffering for some time. His dear bride of many years had gone before him earlier this year and I know his heart was aching to be reunited with her. I can also only imagine how he longed to see his Savior face to face - the one he had loved and served for many years.
As I write, my heart is aching as I miss these dear souls. I wish I was in the states to be there to help provide comfort and support as their family and friends honor their memory in various services. I will miss seeing Deana and Grandpa Grass when I return home. I think the sense of loss will be felt once again.
Yet, they say you cannot be in two places at one time. And as we prepare for the imminent celebration of Christ's birth and His coming to earth, I imagine Deana and Grandpa Grass are very glad to be "home" for Christmas this year.