Thursday, September 10, 2009
Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis will remember my writing previously about my brother, David. He passed away in October of 1997 at the age of 39. A diseased liver took his life before he could receive a liver transplant. He was such a wonderful man---I miss him so very much.
David left behind a wife and two sons, David Lee and Derek. Eleven years separated the birth of his two boys. When Dave found out he was going to have a second child, he was ecstatic. Having loved children all his life, being a father was to him the greatest gift God could give. He was a firm but loving father and his two boys adored him. David Lee was 20 years old when his father passed---Derek was only 8. As much as my heart ached for my own loss, it ached especially for his two sons who would find life so empty without their Dad.
Two weeks after my brother's passing, I invited Derek to spend the night with me. It was Saturday, my children were away for the weekend, and I just wanted Derek to be with me. He was so much like his father and it comforted me to have him near. He reminded me a lot of my brother when he was a little boy.
Derek hadn't spoken much about his father since his death. I sensed that, in his childlike mind, he probably had many things about life and death that would remain unanswered questions in his mind. Little did I know just how much of a grasp he had on the subject.
As we drove along, Derek suddenly looked at me and said, "Aunt Ree, I didn't expect my Dad to die. I thought he would go to the hospital and get a liver transplant and then everything would be alright.". I loooked into that little face I loved so well and replied, "I thought so too, Derek. I must say I don't understand why God allowed this to happen. I don't understand why God allowed my brother to die.". The reply that followed shocked me. "Oh, I understand it all. I understand it very well.". "Well," I said, "would you please explain it to me? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but I'm having a really hard time with this.".
"Well,", he explained, "it's like this. Everyone is born with a job to do. While you are alive, God comes down from Heaven from time to time and gives you what you need to do the job. Then, when your job is done, He comes down one last time and takes you home to be with Him.". He looked up at me with those big, dark eyes of his and said, "And, Aunt Ree, my Dad's job was done.".
Oh! how my heart leaped at his words. A child of eight years old had just provided me with the comfort I needed to begin the healing of my heart. A child, who had just lost one of the most important people of his life, had an insight into the workings of God's spirit that I could only yearn for. My eyes filled with tears as I looked at him and saw within his eyes the faith that undergirded him---a faith that had been passed on to him by a loving father---a faith that, even at that moment, refused to fail him.
I could not speak for a few moments. My mind replayed the words again and again until finally I looked at him and said, "Derek, you have just given me the explanation that I needed. Your Dad's job was done and now he is at rest in the arms of God.". He smiled a little smile and nodded his head as if to say, "Glad you finally got the message.".
God has, indeed, placed us all here for a purpose. When we yield ouselves into His Divine hands, He uses us to accomplish His will and, hopefully, accomplish His great plan. My hope and prayer is that my life will end in a job well done. God does strengthen me, indeed, each of us, to do His will and fulfill our destiny. I so long to do my job well. I so long to have His strength and comfort so that, when He comes to me that one last time, I can go home to be with Him. I pray to finish well. I pray to see His face one day and hear Him say, "Well done, Marie. Well done.". I will know then, on that day, my job is finally completed.