I stood with my family on that warm summer’s afternoon, watching, waiting, my eyes brimming. I looked at Mom. Her soft eyes were closed. The talking had ceased. The sobbing had given way to silence. All eyes were upon Mom as each family member, lost in private thoughts and memories, prepared for Mom’s crossing.
Even my 18-month-old grandson, Trenton, who usually cannot sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time, sat tranquil and silent in my daughter’s arms. The presence of God pervaded the room. The sunshine was glorious and so was the expectant look on Mom’s face as she awaited the hand of Jesus.
“Nanna!” Trenton’s little voice broke the holy hush.
Mom breathed her last. We shed our tears and took turns to kiss our beloved mother, wife, grandmother and great grandmother farewell.
I couldn’t speak. As I stood there trying to be strong for the sake of my family, I thought about my favourite scripture verse – Psalm 46:10a - Be still, and know that I am God.
Being still and knowing that God is in control sometimes makes me uneasy. Stillness is not my nature. I like to fix things and make it all better. But I could not fix my mother anymore.
It was okay this time, though. Mom was finally in the arms of Jesus. Something I had been praying for for years. I pondered how I had been there when she surrendered her life to Christ. A miracle. It soothed the pain of losing my sweet mother and made me homesick for heaven and for that day when I would once more feel her soothing, loving arms envelop me.
What I experienced in that moment when Mom took her last earthly breath was oddly magnificent. It was sacred. It was righteous. It demanded a holy silence.
The Holy Spirit offers comfort and reassurance. Jesus promised that He would not leave us comfortless. He gives us peace and leads us beside quiet waters, thank goodness.
“Let go,now” God whispered as I held my mother’s small hand. “It’s okay now. In this silence, I bore you up but now you need to weep; to mourn; to seek comfort.” Jesus wept. He felt sorrow and found strength. He gave the example and the directive.
In my grief, I realized that the well-timed silence had intensified my communication with God. My tears flowed. Jesus ministered to my heart and soul.
Dear God, the Giver of life. Help me to always remember what it means to be still and know that you are God. And then help me to be still and focus solely on you.