My heart is very heavy tonight. Yesterday I learned that a wonderful woman from our church lost her life in a house fire on New Years Day. I knew Carrie and her family, we are friends on Facebook, but now I wish I had known her better. We would say hello and exchange pleasantries, but never much more. I always saw a small on her face, loved reading what she wrote about her family in her Facebook posts, and recognized the faith she carried in her heart. She was one of those people that I thought I should get to know better, now she is with God and her family and friends are here to mourn their loss. I always thought there would be more time.
My heart is heavy. Her parents are having to plan a memorial service for a child they lost too early. I remember that horrible experience, no parent should have to lose a child. I remember that pain, a broken heart is physically painful. I remember the tears and the emptiness. The skies seemed to turn dark, as if the whole world has stopped turning and the sky itself is mourning too. And then, I remember my friends and family coming to my side. I remember God sending them to me, becoming flesh to help heal my pain. I remember that I was never alone.
At times like these, when life doesn’t make sense, I remember the cross and the empty tomb. I remember that God became flesh, died and rose from the grave. I remember that God loves us, counts our tears, feels our pain, and welcomes us all to His side when our time on this planet is done. I remember that I will get to know Carrie better, when we meet in Heaven. She was a child of God, and is now at his side. She is brushing off the pain and suffering of this world and helping prepare a place for her family to join her. She is at peace.
So tonight, my heart is heavy. On Wednesday I will go say goodbye to her, until we meet again. I will hug her parents and say prayers for her family to find peace and comfort. I will pray that their friends are able to be the hands, arms and voice of Christ during this horribly painful time. I will pray that we all are.
This week you welcomed one of our church family into Heaven. You carried her home, comforted her and gave her peace. Thank you for creating a place where we all know we will be welcomed when our time comes. I ask that you send comfort and peace to her family and friends. I ask that you put on my heart a way that I may help them too. And when you see Carrie, I ask that you tell her she is missed.