Heavenly Mother

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And so at 7:30PM on February 2nd, a woman without guile, the finest, kindest, most joyful person I’ve known, my mother, entered the glory of paradise. (Regarding timing, Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “TODAY you will be with Me in Paradise” and I take Jesus at his word. He is either “a liar, a lunatic or the Son of God!”)

Just a few minutes later, at 8:00 PM, our sweet daughter Heidi, (who smiles a lot like her grandmother), took the stage with the Seattle Children’s Choir in Los Angeles, City of Angels, and performed six songs, three of them about heaven, home of the angels and now home for my mom.

First, “Quandi corpus morietur” (Stabat Mater): “When my body perishes grant that my soul be given the glory of paradise.”

Then Z. Randall Stroope’s arrangement and lyrical adaptation of the “23rd Psalm”:

The Lord is my Shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down
In green pastures;
He leadeth me
Beside the still waters;
He restoreth my soul;
He leadeth me in the paths
Of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff
They comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall
Follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house
Of the Lord for ever.

And their final song, a haunting, melodic spiritual celebrating the resurrection when we will be caught up in the air to meet Jesus at his second coming, “No Time.”

For some reason when I awoke today I could not get a fourth song out of my mind, “The Heavens are telling the glory of God.” Psalm 19 speaks metaphorically of the bright stars above and I cannot imagine anything shining more brightly than my mother’s smile. I just straight out believe that even the heavens shine brighter and purer with her arrival.

I am completely confident that she is with God and that I will see her again. As the old chorus goes, “tell mother I’ll be there, in answer to her prayers!” My final words to my mother were “I love you,” but just before that I said, “I’ll see you in heaven mom.”

Then I got in my car at 7:30AM, turned on the ignition and a Singer’s Unlimited rendition of “All the Things You Are” (J.Kern/O.Hammerstein) starting playing. It mde me think of my dad’s sense of loss today.

Time and again I’ve longed for adventure,
Something to make my heart beat the faster.
What did I long for? I never really knew.
Finding your love I’ve found my adventure,
Touching your hand, my heart beats the faster,
All that I want in all of this world is you.

(Chorus)
You are the promised kiss of springtime
That makes the lonely winter seem long.
You are the breathless hush of evening
That trembles on the brink of a lovely song.
You are the angel glow that lights a star,
The dearest things I know are what you are.
Some day my happy arms will hold you,
And some day I’ll know that moment divine,
When all the things you are, are mine!

Fifty-seven years of marriage never diminished my parent’s absolute devotion and affection. Theirs was the rare romance crafted in heaven and lived-out on earth. Oddly, I had never noticed the lyrical expression “You are the angel glow that lights a star” combined with “the moment divine,” which taken in the context of my other thoughts today made me sense an eerie yet hopeful perfected union yet to come for the two of them¢â‚¬¦

And so, today is a better one for mom, her “body has perished,” but she has “been given the glory of paradise.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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