I will beg my tech-smart brother not to mock me here when I say that I finally got the hang of how to upload pictures from CD to my computer. My kids have been all like, Mom, why haven’t you put your pictures on your computer? And I’m all like, Guys. It wasn’t that long ago that I put actual film in a camera.
So this week I took on a 6” stack of picture CDs dating back to 2009, and in one way it has felt so good to accomplish this project.
In another way, it has refreshed my grief over dad going on to heaven ahead of us and grief over having my kids grow up.
So it’s gone like this: Upload CD (or download? I get those confused.) Have a good cry. CD. Cry. CD. Cry. Etc.
At this point, a person with common sense might say something like, Stop with the pictures already!
But I can’t. Look. Away.
So I’ve been aching over pictures of dad. (He is an awesomely cheerful soul, and I pray the Lord there are still crinkly laugh lines on those new bodies we’re gonna have in heaven.)
And I’ve been teary over pictures of my babies.
This left me crying in the kitchen to my poor husband the other night. I want the happy days back. I want my dad here and my mom not sad and my kids to be little.
That’s when the Spirit brought to my mind Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV):
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I’ve been straining and pressing all right –to reclaim the happiness that was, but I see that it is a physical and spiritual possibility to strain for what is ahead and to strain for what is behind at the same time. I am not Dr. Doolittle’s Pushmi-Pullyu.
But I’m so encouraged by this verse as I type it on the page. Do you see the happiness still there? It’s just in the “heavenward” part.
That’s where my dad is. In heaven. Same place I’m going.
There’s a prize ahead, and maybe the dimpled fingers of my little kids were only a hint of what happiness can be.
I thank the Lord for all the sweet times I had in my past. I know that I am a rich and privileged person to come from a laughing family and to know the joy of holding a baby wrapped tight in flannel. Very rich.
But that was only the beginning, and all that goodness swings around to the front of me yet –like playing crack the whip. Did you ever play crack the whip? . Everybody holds hands, and the people in front run around, to catch the people at the back.
Yes, that’s heaven I think. The good of the past running around fast to be there and even better in front of us, in the shape of something new and glorious.
Well, I only have four more CDs left to upload (or download), and then enough tears, eh?
One more Kleenex, and then how about we strain toward what is ahead.