Yesterday we celebrated the life of Tante Lydia; a life well-lived, I should say. Tomorrow, God’s willing, her physical and temporal body will be cremated and on Friday, we shall bury her ashes in this earthly ground. We grieve today but we look toward the future, not only is it bright, but it is also glorious. When Jesus Our Lord comes, we shall be risen, and the mortal will be replaced with the immortal.
I must say, all Tante Lydia’s children are jokesters—a trait that they must have inherited from their mother. One of the jokes they used to crack was asking Tante Lydia whom she loved the most out of all her children. Every time she would provide them with the same answer, “None,” before giving them a profound explanation, “God is the one who loves you the most. My love for you is temporary, but God’s love for you is everlasting.” Indeed, His love is everlasting.
But our love is not. Our love is not only limited by time, but also by situation. No wonder, to forge our human love into divine love, God uses situation—trying and unpleasant ones. Our task is not to turn the trying and the unpleasant into the good and the pleasant—that would be impossible! Instead, our task is to get over the trying and the unpleasant situation and not be stuck in it. Once we can walk through the trying and the unpleasant, we can love—again.
For about a year Tante Lydia was in bed; unable to sit, much less stand and walk. In the words of James Matheson, that bed became “the cold ground,” referring to the ground in Gethsemane where Jesus prayed. Matheson concludes with these comforting words, “Thy treasure is hid in the ground where thou wert lying.” I have seen the cold ground—the cold bed—where many of you lay. And I saw treasure, I saw love everlasting sprouting into eternity.