“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38 NLT).
My friend Marilou loves Jesus. The verse above was one of her favourites. This past June, Marilou’s life on earth ended. Her last year on this planet was full of pain as cancer was growing throughout her body. When you asked her how she was, she would quickly turn the question around to ask about you or someone else.
Marilou loved to have a good laugh. She loved Mr. Big chocolate bars. And she loved to sing. But helping others gave her joy. Many people had food dropped at their door when their cupboards were bare.
On May 13, 2012 I went to see Marilou. She was in the hospital in palliative care. I knew it would be my last chance to see her on this earth, so I took her something special. Yes, you guessed it; I took her a Mr Big. She had a huge smile on her face and asked how my mom was coping with her chemo treatments. As we held hands before leaving, I said, “We’ll see you soon.”
On June 14, I received the phone call. Jesus had taken Marilou home. Her battle was over. I was sad. I took my dog for a long walk that day, talking to God through tears, telling Him it was hard to say goodbye to friends. (He knows that already but it helped me.) By the time I got home, He had brought this verse to mind, assuring me Marilou was safe at home with Him. What joy filled my heart as I know someday I will see Marilou again.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV).