These three little words are used often as my children ask me questions I do not have the answer to. Can I play outside afterschool? I don’t know it may be raining. What is for breakfast? I don’t know I have not looked in the pantry to see what I have. Why did my cat run away? I don’t know. Why does my Grandmother make cookies without sugar in them? I don’t know.
But today the question was harder, the answer was the same, but it meant so much more. Why?
Well my husband woke me up from an afternoon nap to let me know that my Aunt has lost her battle to cancer. I decided to stay in bed a little while and think about that before I got up. When I got up I called my mom to see how she was doing, we spoke very shortly for she was extremely upset and was on her way to see my Uncle to offer some comfort during this difficult time.
Once I got off the phone I knew that I needed to talk to my kids. I asked them to join me in my room and I sat them down. I let them know that their Great Aunt had passed away today. My youngest began to cry immediately and my oldest began hitting the pillow over and over not saying anything. After a moment of silence I began to explain to them that cancer for her was very painful and that over the last couple of months this pain took over her well-being and that knowing that she is now at rest she is without pain. It is sad that she is gone, but we must rest in knowing that she is not in pain anymore.
More silence filled the room, until the question came,” Is she in heaven?”
I so badly wanted to comfort my child in saying the words I heard several times before.. “Yes she is in heaven and now she can look from above upon us anytime she wants.” But that is not the truth.. I recall my Pastor sharing with us parents about telling our children about death, the truth about heaven and the truth about hell. So I knew this was not the answer I could give them.
The words, “I don’t know” was all I could say. The answer to their questions so often that comes out of my mouth. “I don’t know” words that is normally not difficult to say. But this time they were. They were difficult to say because I did not know the answer to my child’s question, “Is she in heaven?”
I don’t know… because I never asked her about Jesus
I don’t know.. because I never took the time to tell her how He changed my life
I don’t know.. Because I was afraid of what she would say if I brought it up
I don’t know .. because my Aunt and I have not been close since I left my home town when I graduated high school.
I don’t know…………………………………………… an answer I do not want to give again when it comes to someone I should have known.
This last week we had a challenge at church to be praying for a friend or family member that did not know Jesus, my Aunt was one of those people I was praying for. At church this morning my Pastor challenged those that were praying to invite them to a special evening session at church. A special guest, Professor John Lennox from Oxford University, is speaking on the topic of Forgiveness. I knew that my Aunt was unable to get up from her nursing home bed to attend so I planned on making it a point to visit her again soon …. I was praying for the courage to be bold in my faith………….
Now it’s too late. I do not know if she knew Jesus…..
Jesus I thank you for your love. I thank you that I will never forget this feeling of not knowing. I pray that this will be the courage I need to be bold in my faith with the other people I have been praying for as well as for others that will cross my path. I know I am not the one to save others, that is your job. I know that I am not the only one in her life that could have brought her to you … I just wish I knew…In Jesus name, Amen
Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party http://womenlivingwell.org/category/women-living-well-wednesdays