Rejoicing in Life and in Death

“This is the day You have made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” 

An odd verse to think of this morning as I began to write in my prayer journal, and yet, perhaps not odd at all – on this day that we will gather with friends and family to remember and to celebrate the life of my brother Andy – because for us, as believers, there is REJOICING both in life and in death. For in life, he lived “full throttle”, to quote a dear friend of his. He climbed mountains, skied slopes, raftted rivers, rode and hiked the trails of national parks and the back roads of West Viriginia, he went diving in oceans with the fish and out of planes to soar among the birds. Andy lived and he REJOICED in each adventure! 

The validity of his enjoyment came from the tales he told – with words and wth his art – he captured our minds with his adventures. From the excitement of climbing El Capitan to the humorous story of a motorcycle encounter with a huge turkey – the pictures were vivid and remain alive in us today and we REJOICE in the life God allowed him to live. 

However, as another of his dearest friends reminded us as he slipped from us last week, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”.  And so – even in his death we REJOICE! To think of him closing his eyes here and opening them in the Presence of God – oh to see the painting or the sketch that would have come of that – oh to hear his story of the ultimate adventure of his life – there in the Presence of the Almighty! There where he knows no pain or suffering or fears or sorrow – only the grand adventure of eternal tomorrows. 

I can only imagine what it must be like for him to walk by Your side Father – what his eyes saw when Your face was before Him. I can only imagine what his pencil would have drawn or his brush painted when he was surrounded by Your Glory. Did he dance in Your Presence? Or did he fall to his knees? Did he sing hallelujah or was he able to speak at all? I can only imagine the beauty he would depict as he forever worships You … I can only imagine* – And the image makes me REJOICE! 💜 

(*adapted from I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me)

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