TITLE: Live Forever (Part 2) updated 12/22/15
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She smiled and whispered, “Yes.”
“What does it feel like to be in His presence?”
With the face and voice of a sweet child, she said, “Good.”
When I alerted my aunt and mother, “I think Grandma doesn’t have much time left,” they responded, “Oh no, she has a few more years.” She was 102 at that time, but they thought Grandma was fine because her physical condition remained relatively unchanged.
Grandma wasn’t in pain, on any medication, or tied to machines. She ate a little bit of her favorite foods of tofu, rice, and soft seasoned vegetables. Within an hour of her meal, she exhaled her last breath, like an infant’s gurgle, and her spirit went home to God. Her face was radiant and peaceful. In fact, her complexion appeared youthful. Maybe, this was because she was at eternal rest. She passed away a few weeks after I noticed the increase in her peaceful countenance.
Others might not want to be around someone who had just died, but as a final act of respect and with an outpouring of fond emotion, my family and I bathed Grandma and dressed her in a beautiful long muumuu (Hawaiian dress) after her spirit left her body. It was a natural extension of our daily routine. But this time, it was our last chance to honor her. It was our way of saying a temporary goodbye until we celebrate our reunion in Heaven (Genesis 25:8).
During this process of washing her body, the scripture “…if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven…” became more than words on a page (Hebrews 4:12). Grandma’s earthly tent had served its purpose and would become dust. Yet, the promise of her spirit living in her heavenly house remained. We acknowledged that Grandma’s spirit had gone to be with God (Luke 23:42-43).
One day, it dawned on me that a good number of Grandma’s spiritual characteristics were passed to me. I share Grandma’s love of reading the Bible; her way of praying for others; praising God through dance, music, and giving; and acknowledging God in nature. Most of all, however, I hope to possess her selfless nature. These characteristics would be my cherished inheritance from God and Grandma.
Then I had another epiphany. We live forever by accepting Christ as our Savior and passing on His Spirit, which is a legacy that never dies, a legacy of love that remains unbroken. God poured His Spirit into Grandma through her dedicated study of His Word, then let it flow through Grandma’s life into mine. I now have the urgent task of passing His Spirit on: “Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus”(Romans 1:5 The Message).
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
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