Lois died this morning following a severe stroke from which it was unlikely she would ever recover.
Over the years, she and I discussed many things, but Bean Soup was our discussion du jour, a topic which came up at almost every visit. She had wisdom that ran deeper than her persona initially revealed. Living through major challenges and pains shaped her into a faithful presence, generous saint, and a feisty old lady. No wonder she made it to almost 90.
She fought the good fight, she finished the race, she kept the faith. On Friday morning I stumbled across a thought from St. Augustine in his work “City of God”. For some reason a passage about — of all things, death — caught my attention. He wrote: “Of this at least I am certain, that no one has ever died who was not destined to die some time.” He goes on: “…death is not to be judged an evil which is the end of a good life; for death becomes evil only by the retribution which follows it. They, then, who are destined to die, need not be careful to inquire what death they are to die, but into what place death will usher them.”
It made me think about life, and how it’s not about the limited view of an evil end to a good life, but rather about continuing on in an even better eternity. That’s my paraphrase, though Augustine says it with much greater accuracy and punch. It was only a few hours later that we got the call, and days later that she died. Sad? Extremely. Evil? Yes, in that our world is broken by sin. But it’s going to be ok, because in our sadness we have the buried but kicking joy that Lois is with Jesus. And that’s good. That’s grace. That’s the hope of Christ, and in that hope we rest, mourn, wait. Jesus came to suffer with us, to die for us, and through that, to heal us. And now, Lois is healed. Praise God.
I just hope He hasn’t brought up Bean Soup yet, because that’s our thing, and I plan on having that conversation again with her someday.