My wonderful, hilarious, loving, strong, brave dad went to be with the Lord yesterday, August 30th, 2006. I am so happy for him that he is not in pain anymore, that he is healthy, and has a new body, and is celebrating with Jesus. And I am overcome with sorrow for my own loss, and for my family and my mom. How do I conceive of a world that doesn’t have Dad in it?
I keep thinking of a poem I always loved when I was younger. Dylan Thomas wrote a very famous piece when his father was dying which ends with the lines, “Do not go gentle into that good night./ Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I always thought this was truth, he was entreating his dad to fight for life, to fight to stay, and I loved Dylan Thomas because he was a genius, an artist with words, and he wrote brilliant poetry. But he was wrong.
Only if this is the only light we’ve known would we want to rage against its dying. But we know a Light far greater than any light we would see here. Rather than rage against losing what we cannot keep here, shouldn’t we be running toward the greatest Light there is? My dad was not going to live short a miracle from God. His disease was painful and terrible and caused him unthinkable suffering. So, what a blessing that God gave us the gift to be with him, and see that he did go gently “into that good night”, and to know that the light did not die, but that he is dancing in it in heaven!
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12) That is true today for my dad, and I know it will be true for our family as well.
My dad loved us tremendously. I am the most blessed woman in the world to have been loved by the parents I was given, and I thank God for the honor. My dad was the one who gave me a glimpse into how much God must love us, if it was more than my dad did. And I know that his greatest sorrow was leaving us. But I also know we will see him again, and that he is in the presence of his first and greatest love, Jesus, who welcomed him with his most-desired words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
“Better is one day in your house than a thousand elsewhere.” (Psalm 84:10) Daddy, I’m so happy you’re there. And I love you, and I’ll be looking for you when I come.
To God be the glory.