Last Wednesday morning we got the phone call that we had been expecting. Aunt Dean had been sick for well over a year, several years really, and Wednesday morning she slipped away from us and began the life that she had spent more than 80 years preparing for – eternal life.
Death is tragic, even when expected, yet for Aunt Dean I can’t help but feel a sense of victory, the kind of victory I’ve read about in the Bible, but don’t fully understand – the victory over death that Jesus promises to those who take up his cross and follow him. I know a lot of people who talk about taking up the cross, of dying to self, but other than Aunt Dean, I don’t really know that many people who actually do it. Certainly not me.
While many of us are in a quandary about what our spiritual gifts are and wonder what God wants us to do with our lives, Aunt Dean just saw what needed to be done around her and did it.
She welcomed the outcast, took in those who needed a home, fed those who were hungry, prayed for those who needed prayer, comforted those who suffered and encouraged those who were discouraged. And she did it all quietly and without fanfare.
So then, Saturday morning we returned Aunt Dean to the earth from which she came. Under impossibly blue skies and with the sweet promise of spring in the air, we cried over her with her children. And we grieved, not so much for her, but for ourselves.
Photo Temporarily Unavailable
Aunt Dean with Sean in 2004. She stood only four feet and eleven inches tall but was a giant among believers.