THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
When her children grew up and finally left home, Ruth Graham, wife of Evangelist Billy Graham wrote a poem which reflected how she felt, then: “This old house is empty now/with mostly only me/the trees are crowding up the hill/as if for company.” If it was empty then, the Graham’s house today is even emptier. Ruth has gone home to be with the Lord; only Billy Graham is left—alone.
On Friday, Jesus Our Lord came and brought Oom Tek Hian home. When he was admitted to the hospital, over a month ago, he was still relatively strong. At the time of his discharge, he was already weak. Oom Tek Hian was surrounded by his wife and his children when he peacefully slipped into the presence of God.
In his book, Nearing Home, Billy Graham insightfully writes, “God designs transitions and provides the grace to embrace what follows.” Yes, life is replete with transitions; whether we like it or not we must go through each of it. We know some transitions are more challenging than the other but, what a comfort it is to know that God has provided “the grace to embrace what follows.”
When our loved ones are gone, life becomes more spacious but at the same time it also becomes quieter. This heart becomes lonely. One less person to see, one less person to talk to, one less person to do something for and with, one less person to love and who loves, and one less person to pray for and with.
One of Oom Tek Hian’s favorite songs is Until Then. The chorus goes, “But until then my heart will go on singing/until then with joy I’ll carry on/until the day my eyes behold the City/until the day God calls me home.” Today he no longer beholds the City; he’s in there.