My twenty-four-year old son, Nicholas, is in the US NAVY and currently stationed in Japan. Because of the time zone difference, he calls me at odd hours, teases me that he is already on the next day, and jokingly brags that he will have all his holidays before me! Through the phone lines, my heart soars to hear his voice as he talks of exotic places and describes things I have only read about in magazines or seen in documentaries on TV. My son describes the language and the clothing and tells how he has grasped a basic understanding of foreign currency and tasted strange foods like octopus and squid. He enthusiastically shares tales of traveling on high-speed trains and navigating unfamiliar street signs while exploring nearby cities.
I am exceedingly proud of my son. Amazed at his confident independence within a foreign country, I am pleased that he not only openly shows appreciation for another culture, but also has the willingness and good humor to jump in and sample their customs and cuisine. My polished and adventurous world-traveling son has not been bound by the limitations of either his community or his upbringing. He appears to demonstrate poise and skills I am certain I did not teach him and do not now necessarily possess. In good humor, as I live in my secure countryside routine – the same simple country life he grew up in — I envy his experiences and remain behind to cheer him on and delight in the story of his travels.
Likewise, another son — my sixteen-year-old son, Zachary – has also surpassed the simplicity of his childhood home and is now living in heaven in the presence of God his Father. Fully at peace, he is at home in a perfect place I am still longing to see — a place I have only read about in the Word of God. Although in truth my son is there by his own hand and I miss him terribly on many days, I am grateful and pleased – as any mother might be – that my very own child is safe with Jesus and no longer challenged by the frustrations or limited by the failures of this earthly world. Experiencing heaven’s glory, my son is achieving what I am still dreaming of. I remain behind to cheer him on and find comfort in the thought of delighting in his stories.
Both sons have surpassed my human experiences in many ways. While I applaud their accomplishments, I remain content here in my home with the work God has called me to do.
May you, too, find peace in knowing your loved one is safe with Jesus,