My Aunt Ruth was my Godmother and my best friend. She held me the day I was baptized and was present for every significant event in my life. We spoke to each other every day on the telephone. Aunt Ruth’s path through life was not an easy one. She was born without a left hand at a time when people were quite cruel to those with physical disabilities. She lived through breast cancer. The chemotherapy rotted the bones and nerves in her feet so she could no longer drive or walk outside of her home without assistance. She spent 7 years caring for her husband who died of Alzheimer’s disease. She followed him in death a year later. I think she just wore out. I don’t know how she managed it, but somehow she never lost her sense of grace and humor.
When Aunt Ruth died my faith was shaken to its roots. I fell into the trap of asking why. Why did she have to live such a difficult life only to die a hideous death? What was the point? I doubted everything I thought I knew about life after death. I just didn’t buy it anymore. A few weeks later I went to church, more out of habit than anything else. Luis preached a wonderful sermon that was exactly what I needed to hear and it helped heal my heart. He said that he does not know what heaven will be like but he does know that God will be there when he dies. I know that too, and it is enough.
Appointed readings for today: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalm 46:1-8, John 5:1-18