Meeting Her Three Times
I met Lois Papenfus first in a hospital room. I went into the room to see Doris Roddick, one of our church members. Doris said that Lois is in the bed next to her. We said, “This is a Methodist room!” And we laughed. But Lois did not want to stay in “the Methodist Room.” She wanted to go home. So I prayed with her. “Lord, give your daughter Lois your healing power and help her to go home.” The next day, when I went to the hospital again, she was gone. She went home.
I met her second time at her home. This time, her daughter, Linda, invited me. It was a beautiful house with a great view. Lois was sitting in front of a big window, looking outside the garden and the city below. Squirrels were playing up and down the trees and birds were here and there making their music. There, a loving mother and a daughter shared their life stories. Lois was not quiet that day. She told me when and how she met her husband, Wes, and how much she loved him. She was a diligent and hardworking mother also. She loved cooking and feeding others. She sponsored our church cook book, giving her recipes and putting a sponsor page in memory of her husband, Wesley. She and Wesley were life time Methodists. They loved the church, and loved their pastors. They started coming to our church when the Rev. Jim Hutchinson was a pastor. After a while, when she was about to retire into her bedroom, I asked if she had a prayer request. She wanted me to pray for her children and for her recovery. She wanted to cook again in her kitchen. I prayed, “Lord help her to stand up and cook again in her kitchen.” Then she went to her bedroom to take a rest.
I will meet her third time in her heavenly home. This time, our Lord, Jesus, would invite me. It will be even more beautiful than her house. Lois would be standing up and welcome me with cheerful voice. There will be many more beautiful scenes that I cannot fully imagine and understand. There, we will share stories after stories of our family and friends. She would be with her loving husband, Wesley. We will praise the Lord together, how wonderful he is and how great his salvation is. She will cook in her heavenly kitchen with all kinds of ingredients that we cannot even imagine here down on earth. All the former pastors and members and friends and relatives of her former Methodist churches and towns would be invited to celebrate the eternal life together. There, we would not say “Good-bye!” again. There will be no more tears and no more sickness. No more sorrows and no more pains. We will have feast with the Lord and we will enjoy our fellowship and worship!
When I met Lois briefly first time at hospital, I wanted to meet her again at home to spend longer time. Then I did. When I met her second time at home, I wanted to have a feast with her if she would cook again. I will in heaven eternally. Today, when we have a reception to celebrate her life here on earth, it will be a foretaste of that heavenly banquet. So, brothers and sisters, let us have hope and great expectation for that fellowship in heaven. Death is not the end for you and me, neither for Lois and Wes. Death is a new beginning of an eternal life. May God bless us with this hope and faith!
1. What would be the most exciting thing when we go to heaven?
2. What would you do differently now when you see things on earth from this eternal perspective?