My Oma died of diabetes related problems last month. It was hard to say good-bye. She lay there ‘asleep’ for around a week with no response to our words and tears on her soft hands. During that time God gave me personal signs of His presence in different ways. And for others He did the same. My mom and her 4 siblings had to make the dreaded decision of taking her off of life support. The day she went home my mom and aunts and uncles all stood around her. Not long after the doctors and nurses finished shutting off machines and removing tubes, she chuckled ever so softly as my mom’s cell-phone interupted their quiet weeping. And then, she smiled as her last breath on this earth slowly made it’s way out. It was a God moment – and mom knew she was with Him.
My 5 year old sister Sarah didn’t understand that Oma was leaving till the day she died. We all were very serious and teary-eyed that day. All the cousins and a few spouses of Oma’s children sat cramped together (which we may complain about, but in reality, it only forced us to sit closer together when we NEEDED to). When they came to the room to tell us she had gone, we finally told Sarah. And she just sat in laps and hugged everyone she saw crying and grieving. But she had already come to a conclusion that some of us hadn’t accepted yet. We asked her “Sarah, do you know what that means? That Oma died?” and she nodded sure-as-sure, “Yeah, she’s in heaven. And we’re going there soon too.” and she kind of smiled way too maturely as if she knew that from a secret place in her heart. A place in her heart that she shared very delicately because she knew that being tender and whispery was expected at this time. It makes me remember this verse;
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. Psalms 8:2
Satan doesn’t scare my little sister too much. Death to Sarah is life – and for those who don’t believe that, she cries. And she only just turned 6 three days ago. And we know that with Oma in Heaven, a bit of our hearts are already there because of her.
My cousin just got a tatoo with the words “One Step Closer” after a trip to Ireland. It had to do with climbing castle stairs and almost reaching the top. But I’m gonna use the idea of it for my purposes. (:))
The thing about Heaven and the Kingdom of God is this – we never get “one step closer” till we actually take the step of faith to let Jesus have our every part. Not just our hearts. Not just our Sundays. Not just our worship time. Not just our T-shirts. But our entire life.
A good analogy is this; We’ve each got a ticket – the saved and the yet unsaved. Each ticket has a date of departure on it. But the believer’s ticket has “Heaven” as it’s destination. It’s that simple.
And Oma made that step. 🙂 And that makes her and the one’s she left behind one step closer at heart.