2.47 pm February 16h, the phone call came in.
Brothers & Sisters, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, as those who have no hope. *1 Thessalonians 4.13
And it’s true, we only have to grieve on this side. My grandfather has been dying my whole life & right now, right this very minute, he can breathe. He is whole, no more fighting & no more fear of death. Death & the Grave have no hold of him, and Jesus, his friend is King.
Grandpa, you have the most beautiful smile in all of heaven. I just can’t wait to see it again. I’m so thankful for the Resurrection.
Please continue to pray for my family, for my Daddy & for my sister – both of whom lean on me for strength that I can’t give from a distance. Pray that the Holy Spirit would bring comfort to them & lend to them His strength.
Today I’m thankful for the wonders of technology. That’s saying something, because a handful of years ago I tried to forbid electronics from my home. Seriously. My sister went through quite the battle to bring her TV into the house when she moved from Arizona. We’re all thankful that phase is over.
But today I sat in a little prayer room in DC with the IHOP-KC webstream on the big screen in the corner as my friends led the prayer meeting praying for a Revival in the teens of that city. From half-way across the country I could enter into the same prayer meeting, see their faces & hear their voices & sing the choruses & cry & pray for the teens who hold my heart. And I was really thankful for that big screen, & for live webstreaming.
This afternoon I received a text message from a friend who has been ministering in South Africa. She’s been out of the country for almost 3 weeks & I have deeply felt her absence in my life. Though I can’t see her & the distance between us is still, well about 1,066 miles……exactly……. knowing that I could call or message her was a huge relief to my heart. And I was thankful for the glory of cellular telephones, & for text messaging.
Tonight I had a skype date with my Daddy. While sitting in my office I could look into his face & grieve with him. He unpluggled the computer, walked across the room & there in the bed was my sweet Grandpa. I was able to talk to him & tell him I loved him & look into his gentle face. The constant pain medicine is keeping him almost completely unresponsive, but I broke through.
It was unbelievable. I can charm my way through almost any situation but tonight was the first time I’ve charmed my way through medicated stupor. He lay still, breathing heavily. The family said he could hear but for all I could see I was pouring my heart out to a sleeping old man, until the ‘conversation’ ended,
‘Grandpa you have the most beautiful smile in the whole world’
& everyone in the room began to laugh as a gentle smile spread across his face. What a miracle, that I could share that moment with them from so far away. And I’m really thankful for laptop computers & for skype. And really thankful for the faithfulness of the Lord & His constant kindness to us.
Tomorrow is my Daddy’s 56th birthday. It is also the day that his father, Carroll Styles, the man I am named after will begin to receive Hospice care. My parents were surprised by a phone call today informing them that my grandfather’s health has been declining rapidly, forcing him into immediate Hospice.
He has been on oxygen for as long as I can remember, chained to a tank, struggling to speak & has lived years longer than doctors predicted due to severe Emphysema & continuous virus’s & infections.
My grandfather is dearly loved by all; the most gentle man I have ever known & at this time *I am certain to not have the finances for a trip home if he were to pass suddenly, a fact that is difficult for me but would be more difficult for my father. Please pray for my father, my grandmother & my family during this time. I thank God that my grandfather loves Jesus & wait with anticipation for the day when I will see him strong and whole for the first time. Pray that his passing from death into life will be swift & painless. Thank you.