This morning I remember my good friend, Leslee, lost from our world last week because of cancer. For a long time, after I heard she was sick, I asked God to heal her. I felt our world needed her much more than heaven did. She was such a blessing to everyone. God said a gentle "No" to that request. He had something much better planned for her. Today she is basking in His presence, and I'm happy for her, even though I feel the loss.
I grieved anxiously near the end, because of the pain she was going through. Last year, when we talked about her coming death, she said it wasn't going home that would be hard. It was the pain. She didn't want a long, protracted time of suffering. Though He said "No" to my request, God did answer her prayers. Up until the last month she was riding her horses, knitting for her grandchildren and entertaining guests.
There was pain at the end. It required medication that robbed her of conscious thought much of the time. But during those last days, something happened that blessed us all, and made it easier for her, and for her loved ones, to accept her going.
Leslee told a mutual friend who had spent time with her near the end that God had given her visions of Jesus. She described what she saw:
"He shines," she said, "and even His eyelashes sparkle!"
That vision of sparkling eyelashes has been with me ever since. I see it every time I think of her. I see it every time I think of Him.
Heaven touches earth in the presence of God's people as they are dying. Leslee experienced Jesus' visible presence in this world as she stood on the threshold of that other one. My grief is tempered with awe when I think of that.
But we don't have to wait until we die for that touch of heaven. The Bible says we can experience the shine of Jesus' face in our day-to-day experience. He wants our eyelashes to sparkle with the same glow that surrounds Him in heaven.
When [anyone turns] to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are--face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence. . .. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation (the Law) is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
My prayer is that my life will become, more and more, a shining testimony to the beauty and goodness of Jesus, like Leslee's was.