How well I remember the evening of May 25, 2017 six years ago. I was on my evening walk in the neighborhood where my sister, Kimberly, and her husband, Wes lived. Oh those Texas sunsets. Nothing like them!! The sky that evening was one of the most beautiful I’d ever seen. I knew God’s presence was all around me, even during one of the saddest times in my life.
As I came closer to Kimberly’s house, I noticed quite a few cars in her drive-way and on the street. My initial mental response was, “What are these people, (whoever they are) doing at her house?” I actually was angry. “Don’t they know how sick she is? She doesn’t need company.” How wrong my judgmental thoughts were . . .
Then, I walked in the door. Oh, the calmness and peace. The lights were low, Kimberly was sitting in her recliner, surrounded by Wes, their two daughters, son and beautiful young woman who would eight days later become her daughter-in-love. The conversations brought nothing but laughter. I did not know that such peace, joy, and love could be in a room when someone is walking through the journey of dying. We knew she had at least eight days left because we just “knew” God wanted her at a wedding. Those moments were some of the sweetest I’ve ever lived. It was Holy Ground. Kimberly even said, “Have I already died and gone to Heaven?”
That entire day had been full of grace gifts. She began the day eating breakfast on the back porch with Wes. Then she and I sat around and talked, laughed, listened to music on You-tube. I even showed her some new dance steps I’d been learning, hoping to try them out at the wedding reception. I do remember that day having a thought that I really didn’t like. “Could this be a rally day?” Surely not, I thought.
The next morning, however, May 26, 2017, this larger than life red-head was gently and lovingly escorted Home to Jesus and welcomed by some excited others.
Kimberly was such an example for me of living the abundant life even in the journey of death. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” That means no matter what season of life we’re in – good season, bad season, in between season – we can experience abundance. I believe this to be true. But I also believe it depends on what kind of abundance we’re seeking. That will determine how we live each day, each moment. There are things I observed as I watched her live life in a way that brought spiritual transformation. They are what I desire for myself, too.
- She let go of legalism. We both grew up in it and around it. She let it go. So have I.
- She knew who she was. She didn’t have to impress people or God with her acts of righteousness, (good works). She did plenty of “love acts”, of course, but those love-gifts flowed out of who she was, the unique way God made her. I’m learning, I’m growing.
- She lived a life of gratefulness, even when facing the end of the month with hardly enough to buy a coke. She ended up having more than just coke money, but still remembered to thank God for daily blessings, even during her dying days. I’m hoping and praying that can be said of me.
Jesus was exalted in her living and in her dying.
How am I living life today? Am I living from a place of focusing on the abundance right in front of me because of what Jesus gives for today or from a place of scarcity? Scarcity could even be in the form of the “drive” of needing to “do more” or “be more” instead of focusing on our Belovedness and Jesus’ life within. Sometimes it’s hard to discern which it is.