She left us on Christmas Eve. A seven-year cancer struggle proved long enough for Lori…child of the King…daughter of Jim and Nancy…wife of Colin…mother of Grant, Bryant and Marcus…dear friend to so very many people…example of faith under fire for all of us. Her age at departure was 37. Lori was characterized by a shining spirit. I am certain she shines now in the presence of her Lord. She fought this illness with so much strength and faith and optimism. As we watched cancer take away from her body one ability after another, her faith continued to shine. Her love continued to grow. The blessings that came through her devotion to God and her family and friends never ceased. You would have loved to meet her. She was one of those souls who made everyone feel welcome and wanted.
My Bible has this in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Something precious happened on December 24th, 2007…something precious in His sight. My biggest reason for loving holidays is because, so often, I get to spend time with family members who live far away from me. I look forward to those times more than I can tell you. The opportunities to hug, kiss, laugh, pray, worship, sing, and just be together are absolutely marvelous. Such times are precious to me. I think something like this is what the above verse centers around. God doesn’t love dying. And death is not our friend. Lori suffered so much. But it’s the homecoming, you see. That’s what makes it precious. I see Heaven stirring with activity as one of God’s beloved prepares to depart. Was there a flutter among the angels, especially the one (or ones) who had been serving Lori in this life? Were there angel “feathers” everywhere? Did someone say, “Guess who’s coming?” Did another say, “She’s here!” Was it Jesus’ voice she heard first? Did His welcome include a great big hug? And when she saw Father God…in Whose sight this event was so very precious…didn’t He have a great big smile on His face as the welcome home party began? And now, turn and look at Lori’s face as she is trying to take it all in. A sense of wonder is overwhelming her. The greatest “ah ha” moment of her life is occurring. Now everything makes complete sense to her. Her sufferings had been for just a moment. They had worked for her an eternal weight of glory. The testimony of her life of faith served her and others so well. The manner of death by which she glorified God made sense to her. All the promises are real…so real. She feels like she could sing forever. And then she realizes the beautiful song she’s hearing is coming from her lips…”Precious is the blood of Jesus Christ…precious is the faith He inspires within us to keep us…precious is the trying of our faith which makes us purer and stronger…precious are the thoughts, the purposes, the promises, and the will of our God, precious is all the way by which He leads us homeward…and precious, indeed, in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Beautiful song which she can sing in any key as she notices her voice doesn’t tire at all. Somehow she knows that eternity will not exhaust all her reasons for praising her Father God. I think of her there…enjoying the preciousness which the Lord ordained. She is smiling. And her legacy is calling to us to follow her as she followed her Lord. That’s exactly what I am wanting…intending…to do. Thank you, Lori, for shining here and there! Thank you, Lord, for thinking of us in this way…that our coming to you is precious in Your sight.