Death, longing and an incredible truth

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When I was a little girl I loved Easter Sunday. After eating fistful of jelly beans and chocolate eggs, the family headed off to an early pancake breakfast at church. There we sang magnificent songs and listened to my preacher dad declare for 45 minutes that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

It was better than the best bedtime story.

Danger.

Death.

Despair.

He saved the day.Us. The world. Each your heart out Agents of the S.H.E.I.D., Spiderman and the whole lot of you Superheros. Jesus is risen!

Then, my grandpa died.

He had a heart attack while hiking. One minute he was alive. The next minute he was gone.  .

That’s when it began- my fevered calculations to build a bridge between life and death, heaven and earth. I agonized over death and wondered constantly why people couldn’t just live forever.

Bottom line- I really missed Grandpa.

As I grew older death snatched away other people who meant the world to me – cousins, uncles, my aunt and my dad.  Again, I stood at the edge of eternity longing for their return.  Again, I tried to figure out a way to bridge the gap between the living and the dead.

At first, this incredible longing frustrated me.

Eventually, it changed my faith.

All the sermons, hymns and Sunday school lessons were no longer just learning. I began to see Jesus as truth, and truth as Jesus.

I Corinthians 15:17 says “and if the Messiah has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still imprisoned by your sins.”

Jesus, the messiah. His death, burial and resurrection is not just something to celebrate.

It’s the truth.

I will see Grandpa again. My dad. My aunt and uncles. My cousins.

My faith is not vain.

Jesus is risen.

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