I am the daughter going through all the clothes, shoes, linens, pots, pans, knickknacks, pictures, and a trail of paper linking the past to the present. I move rapidly, sifting the treasure from the trash, preserving what I can, and letting go of what I must.
The paper trail centers around cards and letters detailing the lifetime of my parents, as well as the life times of my sisters, me, our family. I carefully, tenderly, handle these papers documenting our lives together. After the hustle and bustle, after sorting and stacking, after bagging and boxing, after loading and dragging, I sit and savor letters linked one by one, words formed from hearts and minds, sentences hand-written, accompanied by drawings illustrating thoughts where words leave off. Messages added outside the envelope provide humor as well as information and requests to be heeded. I am transported.
The written words instantly focus my mind’s eye to the past; the present reality adjusts what was to what is. I cry. Past life seen now unseen-bittersweet.
Love letters, instructive letters, informative letters, to have and to hold until future communication becomes unnecessary.
Dear Lord, Your Word is Your link to Your children to have and to hold until future communication becomes unnecessary.
I know not the hows, the whys. I cry because I want to see, to hear, to touch my family-now with You. I timidly hold doubts and fears that reunion will and can never be. I mourn past omissions; I cling to past moments; I grasp old papers folded, creased, torn, ripping my heart as fingers ripped open envelopes fragile even then. I cry.
Comfort me, Dear Lord, with Your love letters. Inform, instruct, infuse Your wisdom, truth, and promises that tears will be no more; that Love conquers death; that life will be eternal.
Dry my eyes with the pages of Your Truth; blot the tear trails; wrap me tenderly in Your Love Letters; bind me with ribbons soft and silky; deliver me-stamped and posted-fragile.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 God’s Word Translation
I’m telling you a mystery. Not all of us will die, but we will all be changed. It will happen in an instant, in a split second at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will come back to life. They will be changed so that they can live forever. This body that decays must be changed into a body that cannot decay. This mortal body must be changed into a body that will live forever. When this body that decays is changed into a body that cannot decay, and this mortal body is changed into a body that will live forever, then the teaching of Scripture will come true:
“Death is turned into victory!
Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?”
Sin gives death its sting, and God’s standards give sin its power. Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Victory In Jesus
Words and Music by E.M. Bartlett 1939
I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t
To me the victory.
I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there
The song of victory.