There She Goes. Here She Comes!

 

When our son-in-law’s mother died, the priest gave a wonderful homily that compared death to a ship.  The essence of what he said was this:

When our loved one dies, it’s as if they are on a ship, leaving port and disappearing over the horizon.  And those of us left on the dock watch sadly and say, “There she goes.”  And when the ship goes over the horizon we mourn because our loved one seems to be gone completely, because we can’t see her any more.

But, when the ship disappears over the horizon to us, it is just appearing to those at another port.  And there are loved ones and fellow believers standing on the dock there who have already made the same journey.  They are watching expectantly, and when the ship comes over the horizon and approaches, they cheer and say joyously, “Here she comes!”

For a few months I have been reading a blog called, Leslie’s Journey.  It is the story of Leslie, a young wife and mother, and her fight against cancer.  Here is the latest update by her husband, Tyson, on a post Saturday evening, 

Leslie defeated cancer this evening at 9:15.  She is now finally Home, having completed her “journey”. There is no more suffering. No more gasping for air. No more fear. No more heartache. She is certainly worshiping before the Throne, catching up with some old friends and family that have gone before her, and certainly some new friends and family, tilting her head back with her eyes closed and laughing with that contagious laugh—the one her failing lungs have been preventing her from laughing over the past few months . . . She taught us to love. She taught us to live. We are forever thankful for Your gift of life… and for the gift of Leslie. Amen.-Tyson” 

I have never met Leslie or Tyson, but I have been so touched by their honest witnessing of how their faith has sustained them through all this.  I look forward to one day meeting them in Heaven, and being able to tell them face-to-face how much their story has meant to me. 

Leslie’s loved ones had to say, “There she goes,” last night.  But as sad as they were, they knew that other loved ones and fellow believers were waiting “on the dock” in Heaven and saying, “Here she comes!”  What a wonderful thought.

May God bless each of you with faith and peace that sustains you in whatever challenges you are facing in your life right now.

18 Responses to There She Goes. Here She Comes!

  1. Linda says:

    Tyson’s post (and yours) was very moving. I often think back to a time when a dear couple in our church were parted by death. The husband, speaking of his wife’s home going, said “Mary is with Jesus, and Jesus is with me.” It gave me a mental picture of Jesus walking with them, the man on one side of the Lord and the woman on the other.

    We feel grief when we are separated from a loved one at death, even though we know that we will be reunited in Heaven later if we are both trusting in Christ’s sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. I can’t help thinking that the Father must have felt a similar sense of loss when He was separated from His Son during Jesus’ time on earth, even though there was the expectation that they would be reunited at the completion of the Son’s mission on earth.

  2. tz says:

    that is beautiful, thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Sandra says:

    Linda — I love your comment. I especially love the idea of “she’s with God and God’s with me.” How comforting to a surviving spouse. And, I had never thought about the comparison to when God was separated from Jesus. Thank you for this comment.

    tz — This is one of the amazing things, to me, about blogging. You “participate” in other people’s lives. I am mourning for Leslie, whom I never knew, but am also so inspired by her story.

  4. Danielle says:

    That is just beautiful , I have used a similar story in my years of nursing, I cant even remember where I first heard it from, but it’s beautiful and raw and true and that’s what makes the story stand out.

    I too have been following Leslie’s Journey and too be honest, I nearly changed my mind about taking the 12 month contract in oncology in 2 weeks.

    The reason was because I saw that beautiful photo of her and her son and she looked so sick and tired but her beautiful baby just hugged her, he just wrapped his arms around her and I thought ” Can I do this?, am I strong enough to share this kind of journey with beautiful people like Leslie and her family….?

    Now I have decided that I will do it, I will take that 12 month contract for Leslie and Kahliia( a brave little darling here in Au, who continues her journey and the people that will follow after them…..

    Some people just touch your lives…

    xoxo

  5. Sandra says:

    I know the picture you mean, Danielle. I visited there again yesterday and Tyson had put up some other pictures and had taken that one down. My guess is that he couldn’t stand to see it because it reminded him of her hardest days. But, it DID really touch my heart too. I’m glad you’re still going to do the 12 months in oncology — people who are at sooo sick need talented, caring people like you. You’re doing God’s work!
    And I’m proud to know you.

  6. Photo Buffet says:

    This is a beautiful analogy. Without faith in God, life’s trials would be impossible to bear. I’m thankful for parents who introduced me to Christ at a young age, and lived their faith in a way that showed me it mattered. God is the rudder, and I’m along for the ride. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  7. Sandra says:

    Bonnie — “God is the rudder and I’m along for the ride.” Amen Amen Amen

  8. What a beautiful metaphor. I know just the friend to send this to; thanks.

  9. Sandra says:

    HPKT — Obviously, I think it’s wonderful too. I’m glad you think it might touch/comfort someone else.

  10. [...] left the following comment on my post There She Goes, Here She Comes.  I love the mental picture she draws, and I’m sure someone who is mourning would find it [...]

  11. [...] son-in-law’s mother died, the priest gave a wonderful sermon.  I share some of his thoughts here in There She Goes.  Here She [...]

  12. Robin says:

    Sandra:
    When my father died the priest used the same poem …..my father was a ret. major in the air force. Do you know what poem it was? I have been trying to find the original for years.
    Thank you

  13. Sandra says:

    Robin — I surprised myself by finding a quote (not really a poem) on the net, that I’ve forwarded to you. :)

  14. Lili says:

    I am standing by the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
    and starts for the blue ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and strength,
    and I stand and watch
    until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
    just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

    Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!
    Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all.

    She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
    as she was when she left my side
    and just as able to bear her load of living freight
    to the places of destination.
    Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

    And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
    ‘There she goes! ‘ ,
    there are other eyes watching her coming,
    and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :
    ‘Here she comes!’

  15. Sandra says:

    Thank you so much, Lili! That is the poem I had heard!

  16. [...] She Goes, Here She Comes … the poem found! In July, 2008 I wrote this post about the eloquent eulogy the priest gave at a funeral I [...]

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