Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Interrupted By Heaven

My Operation Christmas Child life was put on hold for a few days--interrupted by heaven.

My 101-year-old mother has been failing over the last few months.  Last Thursday I visited her twice in her nursing home.  When I was there in the morning I put my head on her chest and said, "I love you," and in a weak but understandable voice she replied, "I love you."  That was my last conversation with my mother.  When I came back in the evening she was totally unresponsive and I received a call at 5:00 am on Friday morning with the news that she had, as I wrote in her obituary, "left her frail body behind and danced into her true home in heaven."

The past few days were a whirlwind of preparations for her funeral celebration--locating old pictures, scanning and copying them, and arranging them on display boards; copying and sorting pictures to give to family members; choosing music and pictures for my daughter to assemble into an amazing video which you can view by clicking here;  creating a bulletin for her service and copying it just an hour before the service; preparing comments to share at her service; finding suitable outfits.

In the middle of all that I had to clear my house of the mess created by packing Operation Christmas Child boxes so my family would have a place to stay when they returned home.  All the items I'd dragged out of the attic two weeks ago were toted back up to the attic.

All that activity kept me pretty busy but by God's grace there was still time to think about the wonder of Mom being with Jesus.  It will take some getting used to for me to realize I can't pick up the phone and call to ask her a question.

My father died in 1977 and it's strange to know I'm now an orphan.  But I am holding onto God's promise in Psalm 68:5 that He is "A father of the fatherless."

The weather was glorious for the funeral yesterday, and her service was truly glorifying to God and a fitting tribute for Mom's life.  My brother is a pastor, and many were praying for him as he officiated at the funeral and preached an amazing homily with a clear gospel message.

After the burial, my family and I took a flower from Mom's arrangements and put it on the grave of my sister who died in infancy 50 years ago.  I like to think about them being together again.

This morning my three daughters all left to go home.  I couldn't stop thinking about all the organizing that needs to be done in our storage container, so I called Pam--my faithful right arm OCC team member--and we made arrangements to go to work there.

When I pulled up at the container the Fed Ex truck was there and the first shipment of the 10,395 baseball hats I ordered was being delivered.  I didn't know it was coming; God was so gracious to allow me to be there and to send Pam to help.

We had to move 100 cartons of water bottles that still need to have lids put on them so we could stash the hats in the back of the container.  It's hard to believe how much stuff there is in that container in October.

After an hour and a half of maneuvering boxes all over the place we put lids on 250 water bottles then loaded my car with cartons of them to take home.

This evening I hauled them into my house and my husband and I spent some quality time together putting lids on 900 more bottles.

Now, as I take a little time to sit and think, I'm interrupted again by thoughts of heaven.  I think of children and adults all around the world whose lives still hang in the balance.

God is "not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."  It feels like time is getting short.  No other investment of my time or money should ever interrupt the mission of bringing others to heaven.

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