Waiting for the call

September 15, 2005

Today I sit at my keyboard and tears are streaming down my face.

Here I sit – waiting to hear the word that my best friend has died.  I’ve had two calls this morning – one from her physician Kathryn (who is also a friend), another from her sister – telling me that Sue won’t make it through the day.

But as I was just out in the garden – crying – not weeding, like I probably ought to have been – I started thinking about waiting…

What kind of activity is going on in heaven right now?  I know I have no real grasp of what it’s like there – but I can imagine some, so I have been.

I’ve been wondering – what it’s like there?

Will Jesus be pacing – like an expectant father would be – to receive his precious child into His arms?

Are there family and friends there – who have just gotten the word – “Sue’s coming!  Today!  I can’t wait to see her!”  Or maybe who are sharing fond memories with one another, “Remember the time when she…”

Is God marshalling a host of angels who are charged with the care and comfort of His saints – readying them to come and do the work they are assigned – for us?  For me?

My heart is breaking.

I can’t imagine not dialing her number at any hour of the day or night to share even the most silly or inconsequential thing.  I can’t imagine not having her to share a laugh that only she would get!  I can’t imagine not getting that clockwork call that would come every time she tried to make my Italian Wedding Soup – the question, “Okay, so now that I’ve got it all chopped up, what do I do again?”

Gosh I love her.

But, I’ve got to admit something.  I love her enough to want more than halfway healing for her.  I’ll admit also that I’m selfish enough to want her to survive and fight her way back through this devastating illness.  But if I’m really truthful with myself – I know how much I would want her to be eased into the tender, welcoming, comforting embrace of our Savior – our Jesus – her first love.

I’m imagining how freeing those first breaths of heavenly air will feel to her – the loss of that painful struggle to pull the next breath – and even knowing right this moment – 2400 miles away – she can’t even breathe her own breaths – a machine has been doing that for her for nearly two weeks now – and she certainly can’t do so on her own now.  No – the next breaths that she breaths on her own will be the stuff of heaven.  Dang – she’s gonna love that!

I think she’s really going to like the fact that she won’t have to worry through another day of trying really hard to not want to smoke.

I think she’s going to really like not being in pain – from her lungs, her back – any of it.  It’s been a pretty painful life for her, my dear friend.

I know for sure she’s gonna love the food in heaven!

And I know without a doubt she’s really gonna love getting to have the inside scoop on what’s REALLY going on in the world.

I can just imagine her sitting at the feet of Jesus – with an expression of contentment and peace and awe – over the fact that she’s THERE!  She’s with HIM!  The lover of her heart, the completer of her soul.

She’s gonna love the music.

She’s going to really enjoy the fact that there will be so many people to talk to – no limits on for how long, or what else might need done at that moment.

If I’m really honest, I’ll have to admit that I’m a little jealous.  Sue and I talked often about how cool heaven must be – and how amazing it will be to be there one day.  I’m a little put out with her that she gets such a huge head start on learning the ropes there!

But more than anything else this day – I’m finding myself with an amazing sense of – well, the only word that does it is – peace.  It’s not something from me.

The strength that I’m feeling as I dial the numbers of our close friends and tell them that Sue is going to be stepping into the arms of her Savior before the day is out is also not something that comes from me.

And the… and the – can it be?  Can I really be experiencing joy in the midst of this heartbreak?  Yes, it is!  I don’t know how.  But this joy – I know – just like the strength and peace – both have the hallmarks of the comforting hand of God.

I can’t claim to understand the economy of heaven.  I don’t know why my friend has to lose her life to this illness NOW – at only 42 years of age, with two beautiful children, and a wonderful devoted husband at home.  I don’t know why any of us have suffered any kind of loss ever.  But I can tell you – with every fiber of my being – with my very heart of hearts – that Sue would want you to know how much this is not her end.  This is just her beginning.

We talked about it a number of times – this profound understanding that absent from this body – is merely present with our Lord.  In our true land.  With the only one who truly knows us – all of our faults and imperfections and failings – and yet loved us enough to redeem us.

So I wait…

I wait to hear that Sue is indeed with Jesus.

I wait to see the way that God will move to comfort those that will – somewhat selfishly – wish her back with us.  We love her!  We want her here!  We need her!

I wait for the day when I get my turn to be ushered into the receiving room of heaven – where I’ll be greeted by my baby daughter Elizabeth (and the many other babies whose little lives came to an abrupt end even though my heart loved every single one of them), my husband’s first wife Joyce I feel sure, I hope to find my Dad there, and the many friends and family.  But I’ve got to be honest – I’m really looking forward to getting to look over the shoulder of Jesus as He hugs me in welcome, to see the sister of my heart – Sue – standing there with a wide grin on her face, and to hear her exclaim how cool heaven is.


Dancing With The Angels

Monk & Neagle

by Monk & Neagle


Memories surround me
But sadness has found me
I’d do anything for more time
Never before has someone meant more
And I can’t get you out of my mind

There is so much that I don’t understand

But I know…


You’re dancing with the angels
Walking in new life
You’re dancing with the angels
Heaven fills your eyes
Now that you’re dancing with the angels


You had love for your family
Love for all people
Love for the Father, and Son
Your heart will be heard
In your unspoken words
Through generations to come


There is so much that I don’t understand

But I know





We’re only here for such a short time
So I’m gonna’ stand up, shout out,
And sing Hallelujah
One day I’ll see you again




Written by Trent Monk, Michael Neagle & Ed Cash


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