Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalms 116:15 KJV
I stared out the big bay window of our old farm house anxiously waiting for my father to come home. It was pretty common knowledge around our house that I was a Daddy’s girl. Daddy said that he was “addicted” to me the first time he held me in his arms. He joked frequently about how the moment he knew I was “all his” was the first time he gave me a nibble of his chocolate-chip ice cream cone.
Mom was never jealous of our special bond. In fact, she encouraged it because she had often shared how she had never experienced closeness with her father. He had deserted my mom when she was just a few months old. I guess that’s why Mom would always smile when she saw Daddy and me giggling together.
Every evening, just after the sun went down, you could find me staring out our big bay window. I pressed my nose against the cool window pane, longing to catch a glimpse of Daddy’s truck barreling down the narrow lane. I waited patiently for him to come home after work. I squinted my eyes straining to see his bright headlights coming down the long lane. Those glaring lights seemed to penetrate the darkness and shine hope into the depths of my soul. When I saw those headlights, I would lunge toward the front door squealing, "Daddy's home! Daddy's home! Daddy’s home!" He would waltz through the door and sweep me up into his strong, muscular arms and twirl me ‘round and ‘round and ‘round. I would bury my curly head in his chest and giggle, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!”
He would laugh a loud, long, belly laugh and squeeze me tight. Then, he would throw me up in the air and shout, "Everything's all right because Daddy's home!"
Decades later I gazed out the window of a sterile hospital room, as my terminally ill father lay comatose. As I reminisced, I realized that treasured memories are a gift from God, which death cannot destroy.
I watched my mother wipe his fevered brow; meeting his every need in death, like she did in life. She would take time to pat my hand knowing that when he died, something inside me would die, too. Grief began to suffocate my troubled soul.
Then, just like those lights that shone down that long lane decades earlier, a light dawns in my soul, which penetrates the darkness and shines hope into the depths of my being. Sacred Promises begin to saturate my grieving soul.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 KJV
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. I Thessalonians 4:13,14 KJV
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelation 21:4-7 KJV
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9 KJV
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:1-8 KJV
Eternal hope pierced through the dark gloom and despair. Hot tears spilt on my cheeks. Wrapping my trembling arms around my father's shrinking frame as he takes his final breath, all of heaven seems to whisper in my ear. "Everything’s all right because Daddy's home!"
Dixie is a pastor's wife, ghostwriter, mother of four grown children, and grandmother of five "perfect" grandchildren. You can find out more about the ministry she and her husband are involved in at www.floydslighthouse.com. Guardian Angel Publishing has published 10 of Dixie's children's books.