Since my husband's death, I continue to receive mail addressed to him. One card, sent from an organization to which he belonged, bore the message: “Frank, we want you back!” My immediate reaction was “NOT AS MUCH AS I DO!” Another letter came from a retirement counselor inviting him to a restaurant meeting. Its heading read, “Frank, a table is reserved in your name.” Little did the sender know he already has a table reserved in his name to dine with Heaven’s King.
Then came the letter, arriving on his first birthday in eternity, from Danbury Mint, offering a set of anniversary rings. The inscription inside them was “I loved you then. I love you still. I always have. I always will.” The heading across the top of the brochure was “Frank, let her know what’s in your heart.” This one, with its poignant message, reduced me to tears as I stood beside the mailbox sobbing and gasping to catch my breath.
Forwarding these missives to his new address is impossible, so I just read him his mail as I talk to his picture, something which I often do.
Like the empty tomb of Jesus, he is not here. He is risen. So, he’s really not there when I visit his grave to change his flowers and update him on what’s going on with the family. I know where he is because of Jesus’ words from the cross when he spoke to the thief beside him: “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”
This Easter season reminds us of God’s most precious promise that his children will leave this earth for a heavenly residence with an eternal, permanent address. In that bright land, there will be no pain, no troubles, and no tears.
For those we have lost on this earth, but who died in Christ, we have the blessed assurance of their divine whereabouts. According to a sermon entitled “What Happens When We Die?” by John Piper:
“Finally, we see from all these things that death is not the end of our existence. We have bodies and souls. Death is the separation of body and soul, not the end of our personhood. When we die our bodies become lifeless and are no longer the place where we ‘reside,’ but we continue to exist as souls … with Christ in glory.”
Because of Jesus’ sinless life, sacrificial death on the cross, and glorious resurrection, believers have an eternal forwarding address where a table is reserved and where is heard, “I loved you then, I love you still. I always have. I always will.”
Happy Resurrection Day, beloved.
Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. She wrote opinion columns for The Log for many years.