So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again soon, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.—JOHN 16:22 (NIV)
One Sunday morning, I watched my mother make a beeline for the pew of her friend Faith. They’d met four years earlier when Mom came to live with us. Both widows over 90, they naturally gravitated to each other.
Besides their time together at church, I dropped Mom off at Faith’s home for a couple of hours each week. They settled into their chairs, separated only by a lamp on a table. They sang, reminisced, prayed, visited, laughed and even catnapped.
Faith’s independent life, however, ended when she suffered a severe stroke. Despite the difficulty understanding Faith’s speech and seeing her in bed at the rehab center, Mom seemed to take it in stride. Faith lingered, but late one night our pastor called to say she had died.
The following day I dreaded telling Mom. I fretted about the phrasing. When would be the best time? In the evening, I read Psalm 73:23 to her: Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterward you will take me into glory. Then I simply said, “Mom, the Lord took Faith into glory last night.”
A thoughtful expression spread across Mom’s face as she said, “Faith was ready.” What a relief! Mom joined me as I broke into singing “Blessed Assurance”, Faith’s favorite hymn. Our spirits lifted. Both of us felt at peace.