Sunday, September 18, 2011

For Grandpa

Imagine if you would a very homey room, decorated and quite cozy.  A table is set up in the middle of the room to accommodate the feast that is being set.  The details are all being worked on; menu, centerpiece, arrangement of each plate, each glass, each decoration.  The air is alive with excitement and anticipation.  More guests are coming and the level of energy only increases at this prospect of such a well-attended celebration.  The attention paid to each facet is not one of obligation, tradition, normal routines, or a defined sense of expectation.  It is the attention that is paid to each detail when there is such love that you want every detail, every bite, every smell, and every subtle touch to be a gift. 

Isaiah 25: 6-9 says:
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, 
the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.  The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.  The LORD has spoken.  In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. 
This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

A few years ago, grandpa was struggling with severe health problems.  The tension of the unknown, the what if, the will he be better grew on all of us.  I know it did on me.
But, God delights in comforting His children.  And, I was blessed to have a very vivid, very memorable dream.  I saw the room I just described a moment ago.  I saw the table being set.  I heard the laughter.  I felt the joy, anticipation, and the wholeness of the moment.  Here was now worry, no upset, no stress, no illness, no fear, none of the hard things that we have seen grandpa go through. There was only this very great preparation.
But, the table was not ready.  There were others coming and someone had to go get more tables and chairs.  It was going to be a very full room of many guests.  And, I know that they were preparing the feast for grandpa.      

They were preparing this banquet to welcome him home.

And it was a comfort.

John 14:1-7 says:
 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

The banquet was ready.  The meal was prepared and grandpa was brought home for the celebration.

And that also is a comfort.

I rejoice in knowing I will see grandpa again.  I rejoice in knowing what a great fulfillment of that planning of a banquet, in the visits that are being held, the friendships renewed.  I rejoice that grandpa is sitting with his Savior.  And I rejoice that I will see them both someday.

And that is comfort.