Death is a part of life. As we grow, we learn this undeniable fact. We hear about it constantly on the news. When we are young, suddenly, a beautiful face we grew attached to is no longer there. The Bible speaks of it many times, from warnings such as in Romans 6:23:
“For the wages of sin is death,…”
to reassurance in hope like Revalation 21:4:
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Yet, for many, it is a mystery and a thing that can bring nightmare and fear. But is it a terrible thing? I have now seen my Grandparents, a few Aunts and Uncles, a classmate in Junior High, a Neighbor, and now the Parent of a friend pass from this world. I’ve learned many things, from the shock and fear of a child, to the realization that it was time in an older relative expressing joy that a loved-one’s struggle was over.
But the one thing we all struggle with, it seems, is how to make peace with such loss.
At the Funeral of one of my Grandmothers, a Beautiful poem was distributed, which really touched me. Called “Gone from My Sight” by Henry Van Dyke it reads as follows:
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…
If you find yourself in a time of loss and grieving, try to think on these words and let them paint pictures in your mind and heart. See the waves, feel the wind. Know, it is the breath of our Father, and that all are driven before it.
Know, that as he cares for us he numbers our days and brings us back to him at a time of his choosing.
He also cares for us left on the shore, those that feel loss. Pain. Grief. But know also, that as we believe in him, we are drawn close….held in his very arms. Overcome by a Peace beyond our understanding. And as such, never really separated from his Love, or our Loved ones.
So yes, we all, like Ships do at some point sail beyond the Horizon. But when that day comes, know that the one true HOME port awaits……just beyond our sight.