Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Aunt Judy

Last month my aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer. She's never smoked. She was given a month to a year. It took a couple of weeks or so to determine that she was actually suffering from an aggressive form of breast cancer that doesn't show up on a mammogram. By the time it was discovered, it had spread to both her lungs and her liver. Then she was given one to three months.

I don't believe I can accurately describe her excitement. She said, "I know my going away hurts people, and I want to be sensitive to that, but I cannot wait to be with Jesus!"

Aunt Judy's joy was made complete and her faith became sight on June 6, 2007, barely a month after her initial diagnosis. Gone. Just like that. 68 years old.

God gave me a chance to say goodbye to her. I've had many, many wonderful visits in her comfortable home over the years, and each visit has taught me something about God. I so desperately want to be the kind of hostess whose guests leave having encountered Christ. Aunt Judy taught me not to gossip about my family. She taught me to forgive those who have hurt me. She taught me to respect my elders. She taught me to be more concerned for those around me than I am for myself. She taught me to love my husband and children, and to put my husband's needs first in every consideration. She taught me to love church. She taught me to read my Bible. She taught me to use my passion for remembereing dates to encourage those whose special days I can so easily call to mind. She taught me to persevere in writing. She taught me to ask God every day what He wants me to do, and then do it! She taught me to rest well. And the last time I saw her, she taught me to hope for heaven.

She lived, more than anyone I know, this verse: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Now Aunt Judy is at that same throne, entirely suffused with pure joy.

Well done, Aunt Judy.