This early morning after Pauline’s quiet death yesterday afternoon has been such a mixture of anger and concern over the incredible load of suffering she carried because of MS, and the immense relief I feel that she is free of all of that now. My soul is burdened with weariness and sadness, but in the midst of it there is peace that God has her and life willl go on for all of us until it’s our time also.
My flesh wants to complain to God and ask what’s the point of it all – the suffering, the struggle, the death, the grief, but my spirit must yield to his good and perfect and acceptable will. What Kerri-Sue quoted on Facebook for me from Romans 8:18 comforts me: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Over the years, so many beautiful things how come into my life because of my amazing sister Pauline. She is the “happy music” in my long term memory, from days long ago when she gave me a love of music in piano lessons. She would say, “David, I am so glad you’re going to grow up to be a man because we need men to sing and play God’s praises. You can be like King David of Israel and bring a blessing to many people.” I imagine the heart of praise showing up in how I worship today is probably because I always longed to be the man that she dreamed I could become.
She was always the oldest sister, so I suppose it was natural that she would become a counselor to my dad and mom in their hardest moments and deepest struggles. Pauline was a constant source of encouragement to my dad after his leg amputation and the loss of mom to heart attack. Now in my older years, I can see that her devotion to them was not just a normal response to being the older sister, but a choice, a deeply loving choice to stay near them and to fight for them. My deep appreciation to her for those years of constant care and attention to their needs is beyond words.
I cherish the way Pauline would pamper me with her sour cream raisin pie, date bars and cream-bathed lima beans. I’ll never forget her loving smile and the love in her voice when she said my name.
How many times I have said to my soul, “David if Pauline can stay faithful to Christ, hurting like she does, so can you!” She was a continual Beacon of Hope in my quest to act in faith during times of loss and suffering. And so here I am this morning, wanting to walk in this day in the spirit of Grace that my sister exhibited so often.
My prayers go out to my brother and her husband, Art, and her six children – Jim, Paula, Bonnie, Terry, Nolan, and Tyrone, and their families. All of you are continually on my mind, as I wait on the Lord to do miracles of grace in your lives and provide for your need for wisdom and strength as you put the finishing touches on Pauline’s life.
We all are, as Pauline was, human beings filled with desire and longing, struggling with sins of selfishness and fears over this or that. But in the end Jesus took her life and turned it into something beautiful. Now the glory that she walks in with him has put everything in perspective and she is quiet in his love and his care forever.
Those of us who remain rest in hope Jesus will do the same with us.