Saturday, April 7, 2012

He Lives!

Six years ago my little brother Timmy passed away.  I was on the phone with my dad as he counted down the readings on the pulse/oxymeter device.  "50... 40... 30... 10... He's gone."  I can't even begin to describe how bad it hurt to listen to my baby brother slip away like that and then know that Mom and Dad were now alone down home.  I remembered that day 14 years earlier when I had said goodbye to Tim when I left to serve my mission.  I really didn't expect him to be there when I got home because he had so many health challenges.  As I walked down the jetway to board the airplane I felt that my heart would burst from the pain.  Now I felt it all over again, only now it wasn't a possible separation - it was an actual separation.

I wanted to be home immediately to be with my parents, but there were certain experiences I knew were waiting for me down home that I did not want to face.  I knew that Mom and Dad expected my brothers and I to dress Tim in white clothes before the viewing and funeral, but I knew it was going to be an awful struggle for me to contain my emotions.  Seeing him cold and unresponsive would just make it too real and final.  But I also knew that this was one of the last services I could do for Tim, and I wouldn't shy away from it. With a fervent prayer in my heart I accompanied my parents, two of my younger brothers, and an uncle to the preparation room.

An overwhelming spirit of peace filled the room as they wheeled Tim in for us to dress him.  I knew that what was laying before us was not really Timmy anymore, just the mortal shell that we had known and loved him in.  The real Tim was somewhere else; close by, but unseen.  And at that moment I knew that he was every bit as alive as I was.  I felt a calm assurance that I would see Tim again because of the marvelous gift of my Savior Jesus Christ.

When I remember Christ's atoning sacrifice I most readily remember the price that He paid for my sins, and that He died and was resurrected so that all of us can be resurrected too.  But the atonement was so much more than that.  He also took upon Himself all of our sorrows, heartaches and sicknesses.  He experienced them personally in a way that I cannot comprehend or fully appreciate - but I believe that He did it.

I had often been puzzled by the Savior's actions right before he raised Lazarus from the dead.  Here was the Son of God, master of life and death, going with a sure knowledge that he was about to raise Lazarus from the grave to continue his mortal life.  He knew it was going to happen, yet when he got to the grave we read that "Jesus wept." (St. John 11:35)  Why did He weep?  I believe it was because he "felt after" Lazarus' loved ones who were mourning his loss.  There in that room, as we prepared my little brother for his burial, I felt that the Savior was feeling after us.  He was sad because He loves us - and we were sad.

I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It not only provided the needed comfort at a time of immense grief, it provided (and still provides) tremendous hope for the future.  Because of this great gift I know that I can be with my family once again.  His atonement covers all wounds and heals all hurts.  There is  NOTHING that cannot be made right by Christ.

At the end of a very beautiful funeral service my family gathered at the cemetery to say our final goodbye's to Tim.  As we lowered his casket into the grave my 5 year old daughter Blondie looked at all of us like we were crazy.  Looking down into the grave at Timmy's casket she said in a loud voice: "How is he going to get out?" and then quickly answered her own question - "I guess Jesus will just have to go down there and get him."

Indeed - Jesus has come down here and will "get" all of us who are waiting and anxious for His uplifting hands.  There is joy and sweet comfort in the sentence: "I know that my Redeemer lives!"

I know that He lives!  I know that He suffered for our sins, died and rose again the third day to open the way back to our Heavenly Father's presence.  He is there now, beckoning us towards Him.  He is the only way back.  May we each find Him and feel after Him on this sacred Easter Sunday.

1 comment:

ajwhet10 said...

Muy bien dicho. Gracias por lo que compartiste.