APRIL 2009 Thoughts As Laura told me how they actually watched Grandma slowly pass away; her life leaving her, I felt so bad. They said it was a pretty peaceful passing, but it was still difficult to be there. I have never actually watched someone I care about, pass away in front of me, and I can’t even imagine what it feels like. In this season of Lent, I am reminded that Jesus’ followers would have had the same experience; although Jesus’ passing was anything but peaceful. Many of the people gathered in Jerusalem that Good Friday actually came to see Jesus die on the cross, because they wanted to. But for those who loved Jesus; I can’t imagine what it would feel like to see him in pain and agony, and to not be able to do anything about it. They thought that this was the end of His life and everything that He stood for. Their grief must have been tremendous. They would not have known that he was to rise in 3 days; they did not know the rest of the story. They only knew that a friend, a mentor, a brother and a son, was suffering greatly and that He would no longer be in their midst. We, on the other hand, know how much God loves us; enough to send his only Son to die for our sins. We know that he combated even death, just for us. As difficult as it is to see our loved ones leave us, we know that death is not the end for them, or for us. Death is only the beginning of a wonderful life beyond anything we can even imagine. Grandma Troutman had a good long life here on earth and she left a lasting legacy within her family. Aunt Lynne also left a legacy, but the last couple of years were very difficult. Her body was filled with cancer, the treatments harsh, and it was a daily struggle to feel good. My Dad also had a difficult couple of years before he passed away, and at the end he was in a lot of pain. I dream of my Dad being in Heaven, able to eat anything he wants (he was diabetic) and no longer in pain or suffering. I see that for Lynn also. She has her hair back and it does not matter that her major body parts are not functioning, because she does not need them. As we continue to see so many people struggling, remember that we do not live for this earth. Everything we try to do here is to honor our King; and that our “life” begins after we leave this earth. We believe that we will be with Him throughout eternity and that is a promise that we have been given; because we believe. So, as we celebrate Easter, remember that we DO know the rest of the story. Christ died for each and every one of us, so that we would have everlasting life. Live your life remembering that the things of this world will pass away, but we will be with our Lord forever. Have a blessed Easter and a good rest of the month!