At this time of writing we have only five days left. Five days to finish emptying a house of all that made it home. The new owners will take up residence in a home they love never knowing of all the burdens that have been shared within the walls of this home.
Our pastor and dear friends have sat on the couch with us as we wallowed in the shock of our son‘s suicide, the news of cancer in my husband. Friends have gathered here in our living room and prayed and been willing to bear our burdens so we could walk on the high places and see those mountains come crashing down.
We have been encouraged by those willing to bear our burdens, those willing to carry us in prayer and friendship until the battle was won.
I really want to tell you though about one friend here who has impacted my life by her love almost as much as Jesus.
Maybe that is because she has displayed and lived the Jesus kind of love we see too infrequently. She was willing to lay down her own life for her friend. Jesus said there is no greater love than this.
Paulette has given up the last six months of her life to walk a journey few would dare. Her friend, roommate, adopted Japanese sister was diagnosed with cancer when she was away on a very brief holiday. No sooner had Paulette returned from her holiday than she was right back on the plane with her friend to hospital in another city and was by her side when she heard the news her cancer was terminal.
Praying for them both everyday seemed so tame, lame and just not enough given the magnitude of the journey. But we know, don’t we that God gives strength for the walk of faith He calls us to when we ask. My friend carried the burden for her friend, we here at home carried and bore her burden, lifting her to Jesus, interceding for them constantly.
On Tuesday morning, our dear sweet Yuka was ushered into the presence of the King. On Monday night, a quiet whisper I heard, deep in my spirit, a whisper I wanted to ignore. “I am preparing to receive her“, were the words I heard, so Tuesday morning I waited with baited breath for the news.
Tears flow and hearts ache for the home going of Yuka. Her servant heart and child like faith and deep love for Jesus, the beauty of her soul, this precious young woman who was so deeply loved will be so deeply missed and mourned.
But it is for Paulette now that my heart aches. She is waiting for Yuka’s sister to arrive from Japan and they will fly up here together to begin the achingly hard task of going through Yuka’s earthly possessions. We have to leave before Paulette comes home and I won’t be able to wrap my arms around her, won’t be able to give her my shoulder or be available to sit long with her and listen to her grieving heart.
I want to know that the prayers I pray will bear her burden, will carry her to the arms of Jesus so she can find rest in the midst of the hard and painful.
I have to trust they will because the God I love, believe and trust CAN.
My grief is part of the grief we share as a body, as the church and I pray the church and most especially, Yuka’s adopted Canadian family, will know the deep and tender comfort and consolation of our Lord. He weeps with us even as He rejoices over Yuka and dances with her in the courts of heaven.
May we, the church, the hands and feet and heart of Jesus be willing to bear the burdens of another, to carry those who are in hard and seemingly insurmountable places so they can rise up with wings as eagles and not grow weary. May our faith and prayers bring sustenance and strength to their hearts.
May our prayers bear the burdens of those we love and carry them all the way home.