This week, God welcomed another one of His sons, back to his eternal home, my Uncle Art.
Uncle Art had been battling cancer and though we rejoice his body is fully restored and he is dancing on the streets of gold, here on earth, is left an empty chair. An empty place. A physical void in our lives. My heart aches for my aunt and my two cousins as they have yet another loss to try and comprehend. About 10 years ago, my cousin (their daughter and sister) was killed in a car accident, which left us shocked and wondering why. Once again, we find ourselves in that same place.
Death for Dan and I still hits so close to home. When we heard that my Uncle had passed away, our hearts ached in ways they hadn’t before. Our hearts longed even more, for the day when Christ returns and all pain, death, and suffering is no more. We praise God that Uncle Art is no longer suffering, but sometimes our time here on earth seems like an eternity, without our loved one(s).
From a very personal perspective, it is comforting to know that my uncle, along with our other family members who have gone before us, now rock and hold our babies so tightly. It was my Uncle Art and Aunt Linda, that had such beautiful words for us, tears of understanding, and a love/bond that will always be there. That is why saying a temporary good-bye to Uncle Art, is hard. He left a legacy of love and life for God. Despite his cancer, he lived life to the fullest, still using his sense of humor, and expressing his faith in God as his rock. A challenge we will always take with us.
We know that this side of heaven, we are not to understand the ways of God. If we did, God wouldn’t be who He is. If we knew what He did, our faith would go no where. If we understood why life at times seems cut so short, we wouldn’t see God’s faithfulness and divine plan pan out in ways we never thought. One thing that Dan and I have grown to learn and believe is that God DOES, TRULY DOES, work out His GOOD plan, perfectly. Good and perfectly is defined very differently in human terms. But that’s just it. They are human terms. They are not heavenly definitions. God’s vocabulary and definitions are very different than ours, but I am learning to accept His definitions and vocabulary because it’s in those definitions, that we walk in peace and comfort. We may not always understand, but we can trust that He is ultimately sovereign.
Life is beautiful. Uncle Art left a beautiful impact on so many of us – family, friends, co-workers, and many more. I know God welcomed him in saying “well done, good and faithful servant.” Though we are left in tears as we say our temporary goodbyes, we know our tears are wiped away by God’s assurance that one day, we will be reunited again.
We love you Uncle Art, and thank you for touching our lives in ways that nobody else will. We rejoice that you are now reunited with your daughter, which I wish we were all there to see that embrace.
Death. Though we at times have no explanation, we know that being part of God’s family, we need no explanation because our answer is in heaven and IS HEAVEN.
We were not able to make it back to Michigan for the funeral, but our love and prayers go out to my Aunt Linda, Andy, Megan, relatives, and all those who held Uncle Art so close in their hearts. His legacy continues to live on!