Well, the morning after my last post was written, Joyce entered Heaven. When I first heard, I cried. It was not from sadness for Joyce, or depression. Joyce was the kind of lady that I felt the world needs a little more of. We needed more time with her.
I compared her passing to two other major losses from this world: Keith Green and Rich Mullins. These two Christian musicians and songwriters wrote such awesome songs, and turned deep theology into something you could sing along with. They were both taken from this world at young ages, and in the prime of their lives and careers. With both, I remember thinking, "Why that person? Why, when they had so much to give, and had so much influence?" I know Joyce would just laugh politely and say that she's just a person, but the way she lived her life and let her light shine made such an impact on everyone around her that she leaves a big empty space now.
Just one more thing about Joyce's passing. Usually, when a person dies, the next stage is so mysterious. Even for Christians, confident in eternal life, sure of Heaven, with the knowledge of their loved one's salvation, it's a big unknown. But with Joyce, I feel like I know instantly where she is. She's dancing on the streets of Gold, praising her Heavenly Father, laughing and smiling, and free of pain. I'm happy for her. I'm still sad for all of us left behind (especially her family), but it's not a sadness that is usually associated with the end of life.
A memorial service is scheduled in her honor this weekend. It's not a funeral. Funerals are sad. This will be a "celebration of special magnificence" as Bilbo would say. Joyce is in Heaven. She's happy. Why shouldn't we be, too?
P.S. Oooooo! I just realized! She'll probably run into Tolkein, too!
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