Last Saturday we were at a church rummage sale. We were browsing though some books when Isabella found A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. This book was recommended reading for us after Isaac died, therefore I anxiously awaited the time to sit down and absorb it.
I could relate to several thoughts, emotions and experiences that Lewis wrote in his journals after the death of his wife. There were some sections that I found difficult to comprehend and may read again to try to understand his thoughts. One passage particularly stood out to me:
“Am I, for instance, just sidling back to God because I know that if there’s any road to H. [reference to his deceased wife], it runs through Him? But then of course I know perfectly well that He can’t be used as a road. If you’re approaching Him not as the goal but as a road, not as the end but as a means, you’re not really approaching Him at all. That’s what was really wrong with all those popular pictures of happy reunions “on the further shore;” not the simple-minded and very earthly images, but the fact that they make an End of what we can get only as a by-product of the true End.”
How many times have I imagined seeing Isaac again in heaven? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but do I desire to see him more than I desire to see Jesus? Perhaps the reason that I have such a great desire is because I have seen, touched, smelled and heard Isaac is this present earthly reality. I have not experienced Jesus in same way. Jesus has touched me deep in my heart. We are blessed to believe in him even though we have not seen him (see John 20:29). I must be careful that in the emptiness of the physical separation from my son that I don’t allow the desire to see him again to take away from my love and worship of my Savior. My primary focus and motivation should be to love, honor and obey my Lord. Being reunited with departed, redeemed loved ones is a wonderful byproduct of being saved, not the chief end. However, it is something that I can look forward to and be thankful for.
I am reminded of the song “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. From what I’ve read and heard, the composer, Bart Millard, began formulating the idea for this song as he was remembering his departed father. However, his thoughts than took him to being with Jesus Christ in heaven, which resulted in him writing perhaps the most popular song in the history of Christian Contemporary Music. In the same way, may our hearts and minds look forward to seeing our Blessed Savior!
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20)