Feb 1, 2010
Lisa McBride - Drifting Home
She told them she saw a tunnel and asked whether she should go left or right. “Go left, Lisa, if that’s the way you want to go”, they suggested. She said she saw Grandpa Miller there waiting for her. They urged, “Go to Grandpa, Lisa. He loves you”. And then she slipped away into that mysterious tunnel she described, the one we so often hear about in circumstances such as these, her soul drifting toward home. Left behind was her shell of a body, finally at peace after countless months waging war with the faceless enemy of cancer, and her family, most likely balancing on the thin rope that hovers over unfathomably deep despair for the loss of their young mother, wife, daughter, niece, cousin, friend, and relief that her suffering has ended.
I wasn’t close to Lisa by any means. I met her on several occasions, a few times when I was younger at church and once traveling with Lori to her house for a party. Lisa was a cousin of Lori’s high school best friend, Julie, so our contact with and knowledge of her was limited to that exposure. But over the past few years, Lisa has held a permanent place on my prayer list, alongside her young daughter, husband and family, as they battled her despicably vile cancer.
My heart wrenches for her family, especially for that precious little girl who will ache for her momma’s comforting embrace, her uplifting words, the encouraging touch of her hand as the days melt into years and she grows into a young woman her mother would be proud of. And for Lisa’s husband - how does the world continue to turn, days continue to pass, birds continue to fly, life continue to move forward when the axis upon which it all once turned is no longer there?
That’s where faith comes into play, I guess. For those with faith, there exists something bigger, more comforting, more encouraging, more loving, even though that’s damn near impossible to recognize when wounds are fresh. For those without faith, God’s existence and his love and his heartbreak for these circumstances are still there, even though our awareness isn’t. He exists whether we believe in him or not.
Believer or not, the comprehension of how excruciating it is to endure the loss of a spouse or child or parent, someone with whom all of your moments, mundane to monumental, were shared, eludes me. It rocks the very foundation upon which faith is built, I’m sure. I’ve never been faced with that extent of devastation, although I fight with the fear of it every day. But the image that pervades my mind in times of turmoil that I have experienced is from Psalm 91:4 – “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Please gather Lisa’s family under your strong wings, Lord, and wrap them in the comfort and peace of that shelter.