I woke this morning with a thankful heart that my missing suitcase arrived last night! Now I have the notes for this morning’s session on praying Scripture.
When I went to the dining room for breakfast, the president of SHARE and his wife invited me to sit at their table. In the middle of breakfast, the conference organizer’s husband walked up to me with his cell phone in his hand. “It’s your husband,” he said, and handed me the phone.
I knew immediately what this meant. I could scarcely here Gene above the din in the dining room, but I caught him say, “Your dad passed away thirty minutes ago.” It wasn’t unexpected, but the news still carried a blow. I was so thankful that this couple had asked me to sit with them – they immediately offered their support and prayers, and she shed a few tears with me. Within the next hour, the word began to spread about my dad’s passing and people began offering their condolences. I was given the option of not teaching my workshop, but the only other choice would be sitting alone somewhere and feeling low. So, I chose to teach and it turned out okay. At the end, one man said that he wanted to pray for me, and that’s when the tears started to flow again.
I’m so thankful for the time I was able to spend with my dad two weeks ago, when he was still lucid. I was able to tell him that I love him, and he answered, “I love you, too.” I know he’s in heaven – at one point he said that he could see Jesus and it was beautiful “there.” I believe he’s walking and dancing in the Savior’s presence, his body whole again after being paralyzed by strokes eight years ago.
And now – I must process the fact that I’m here and my family is there during this time of grief. I’m on a journey for which I have no compass but the Lord to guide me one step at a time. My loss is great, my pain very real. I want to embrace my mom and other family members but can’t. “This doesn’t feel fair, God. You could have taken him while I was home so I could be a part of what’s happening there now. Why did You wait until two days after I left?”
This afternoon I’ll travel by train to Slovakia with an IM friend, Diane. Her specialty is missionary care. That’s good timing.