Friday, February 22, 2013

For Janie

                                     For Janie

My sister, Janie, relocated her residence a week ago today. It was a permanent move, and one she, and we her family, had anticipated for some time. She fooled us and left earlier than expected… without packing a suitcase…no boxes…no bags. All she took was what she had with her when she was born.

That’s not true either. She didn’t even need the body she came into this world with. She could leave it behind, and she would tell you she was glad to do so.  Of late, it was nothing but worry and trouble and was beginning to weigh her down. She left it none too soon.

Of course we wanted her to stay ... but then, too, we understood her reasons for going. She doesn’t regret the move, I’m sure…doesn’t look back with second thoughts.  We don’t expect to hear from her. We can’t write or phone or email or text. Skype is not an option.  In time, we’ll each go to see her. It’s not for us to say when that will be. One by one, we’ll just take off and when we arrive, there she’ll be, happy to greet us.

She left behind a husband who loved and cared for her when she was whole and well and when she wasn’t. That’s saying a lot. Her daughters are strong and they’ll be OK. They have people around them who love them. Her grandchildren will miss her crazy/funny ways and will tell their children about her.  They’ll see pictures and wonder why she had no hair. Maybe by the time her great-grandchildren ask, there won’t be any more pictures of fine ladies with no hair, like Janie.

She was beautiful and smart and outlandish and outrageous and someone Maurice Sendak would have liked to write about. When she was born, they broke the mold. There are no more like her. When she left, we retired her jersey, because there won’t be another Janie.

In my heart, she can’t be gone…she’s resting in her bed down the dirt road where the Queen Anne’s lace grows. She’ll be up soon and have lunch with us.  But in my mind, I know she’s not here because “here she had no continuing city” (Hebrews 13:14). She knew the truth of Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven.” That’s her new address.                    

The angels welcomed her home with joy. She’s with her daddy, and the little baby she was never able to hold, and millions more who will worship with her around the throne. She’s with Jesus, who loved her and gave Himself for her.

Janie, I love you and miss you, but I know that anything that can be located is not lost.  You are where there will be…
the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22: 1-5).