Aunt Betty’s fingers move gracefully across the keys of the piano as my mom, my dad, my grandma “Abuela” and I huddle around the shared hymnal. I’ve requested one last “hymn-sing” with my dad’s sister Betty before she leaves in the morning to go home to Missouri.

Holding the hymnal with my left hand, I run the index finger of my right hand under the words for Abuela to follow along. I can tell she is fading. It’s the end of the day and she’s almost ready for bed. Abuela taps her foot slightly and nods her head a bit with the tempo as we begin to sing.

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear. We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair…

It’s an appropriate song for Abuela. She has plenty of reason to complain. Several strokes have left her right side weakened and forced her to become left-handed. A fading memory and a brain that gets muddled and confused with everyday details of life. Yet a hidden blessing of Abuela’s short-term memory loss is that she doesn’t remember that she fell and broke her hip last month. She doesn’t remember her trip in the ambulance, or her stay in the hospital, or the pain after the surgery. She’s cheerfully unaware of any reason to be unhappy. Those painful memories have been erased.

…But Christ will soon appear, to catch His bride away.  All tears forever over, in God’s eternal day…

What a beautiful picture of the ultimate erasing of sorrows when we get to heaven. I can just imagine my sweet Abuela, who has served her Jesus whole-heartedly, uncomplainingly her whole life, joined by her faithful husband who went ahead of her several years ago,  gazing at her Savior face-to-face at last. Why worry about minor things like broken bones and weakened limbs on this earth? When we reach the beginning of forever, I don’t think we’ll even remember those things anymore.

…It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus.  Life’s trials will seem so small, when we see Christ.

One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.  So bravely run the race, till we see Christ.*

The chorus ends and Aunt Betty does a final trill of notes on the piano. Abuela smiles. “That’s a great song, isn’t it?” I ask. She nods.

Revelation 21:4 assures us that our sorrows will be erased in heaven. “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”  (NIV)

But we don’t have to wait until heaven to deal with our hurt, loss, and pain. Jesus tells us to cast all our cares upon him, for he cares for us (I Peter 5:7). Don’t wait another day. Give your anger, your tears, your complaints, your weariness to Him. And then, as the hymn says, “bravely run the race, till we see Christ!

Going Vertical!

MJ

*When We See Christ, Esther Kerr Rusthoi, copyright 1941 by Singspiration, Inc.