When my brother and I were little and we heard Mom and Dad were going to Europe, we were ecstatic because Aunt Bernice was coming out from East Rochester to take care of us.
She was Swedish and as sweet as a Swedish candy fish. She made Swedish meatballs and taught us how to say smooooooorgausbooooord, which I’m fairly certain I’m better at eating than pronouncing even today.
Last night, this Christian lady jumped up into Heaven, and a little piece of my heart goes with her. (Unfortunately, the majority of my heart is still here in the midst of struggles.)
I’m glad we made the effort to see her summer before last. I hadn’t been “Back” East in about 50 kabillion years. Dianna and the kids had never met that side of the family.
Many years before, my mom drove to California like so many, on an impulse, seeking a dream. She starting teaching waltz with some dance shop and eventually found my dad, who didn’t dance. Dad was a consummate engineer, so dancing was not his thing. They went to a nifty little Methodist church, where I grew up bored and rebellious. When I found out at age 12 outside of the Methodist church that Jesus wanted to enter my heart, I was understandably miffed that no one had taken the time to explain this to me before inside the church. (What did they preach there anyway? I have vague recollections that sermons were about being good people. I distinctly remember one sermon application was to NOT cut your fingernails in church and dust them off onto the floor. I don’t know why this one stuck with me all these years.)
Mom got radically saved and started serving as a volunteer chaplain in the Sylmar juvenile hall facility, which I believe is still the biggest in the nation. I became a Christian and went off to college. After, I shipped out to the mission field. After almost 16 years, we were forced back when we got swept up in the growing hurricane of drug-traffic-whipped crime in Guatemala.
The preaching switch has been turned off for four years now, and I’m wondering why. Maybe part of the reason was to see Aunt Bernice. Because God has taken the blindfold off our eyes, Christians know that death is but a door to our final destination.