It is just over one month since the eldest of my three younger sisters took her last breath. Linda left those she loved and cared for so deeply and conscientiously to ponder her somewhat abrupt departure and discover grief in a variety of forms. I do believe that Linda would not have expected us to grieve. I don’t know what she would have expected us to do, but she would have been unhappy at the thought of anybody struggling with grief just because she left us a little earlier than she ever expected to.
I am certain that if Linda had received advance notification of the time and date when God would take her home to be with Him then she would have prepared a little better. She would have cleared out her maisonette, spoken to all her family and friends, and perhaps even posted on Facebook to tell us that she was leaving on her final journey. But Linda didn’t know that she would leave us at the relatively young age of fifty-nine. It is precisely because none of us are privy to such information, that we need to have confidence in what happens when our human bodies fail us. Linda left us with confidence in her final destination. Do you have that confidence?
If Linda were able to send you a letter or a postcard from Heaven I am sure it would say ‘wish you were here.’ It might express some surprise at those there with her and at those who are not. Many who believe in life after death do so without the confidence that Linda had. They just assume that there is something else and that they will receive free entry to whatever that something else might be. But entry is not free and it costs more than any of us could possibly afford. Even the wealthiest citizens of our planet have insufficient funds to see them safely to an eternity in Heaven.
All is not lost. Linda knew that. Linda knew that the price had already been paid. That price involved Jesus Christ the Son of God taking human form. Born in the humblest of circumstances Jesus grew up in relative poverty in a land that was occupied by a cruel foreign power. For the final three years of His life Jesus was a homeless nomad. He was falsely accused of crimes He did not commit, went through an absolute disgrace of a trial, was beaten almost to death and then executed as a criminal. His death and His death alone paid the price that none of us could ever afford. Linda knew that. So she committed her life to following Jesus. That is how she became the person she was. That is why she is now in Heaven with Jesus, who like Linda did not remain dead. If Linda could send you a message it would not just be ‘wish you were here’ but a plea that you seek and find Jesus so that you can join her. That would absolutely make Linda’s day.
The photographs in this post were all taken in our childhood home of Guernsey, which the Welfords believe to be the most beautiful and friendly place on this planet. Linda had hoped to visit Guernsey again. Sadly, she didn’t get the chance, but where she is now makes Guernsey look insignificant.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! (Matthew 13: 44-46 NLT)