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I am into my second week of memory verses from the Beatitudes. Last week I noted that Jesus’ first blessing was for those who need Him, and now that I look at this passage again I see once more that Jesus’ blessings are for those in need.

wp-1465833441516.jpgIn one way it looks all backwards; ‘Blessed are the poor in Spirit…Blessed are those who mourn…’ I have mourned, it doesn’t feel blessed at the time.

When I was 21 my very close friend, Rachel, passed away from a brain tumor. It was horrific. We had been friends since we were babies, we saw each other every week, we lived out of one another’s homes. And then she was gone, and I couldn’t reach her any more.

She was missing, is missing. There is so much of my life that I wish I could have shared with her. She never met Rob or Orla. I carried her necklace in my bouquet when I walked down the aisle but I would have given the world to have her walk with me. Orla will not know her Aunty Rachel and I will not get to be Aunty Cathy to her children.

Death is just wrong. We know this, we feel it, that’s why after thousands of years of people living and dying, it still cuts us to the core. In our heart of hearts, we believe it shouldn’t be like this. And I believe that inner rejection of death is a seed of hope God has planted in our hearts.

Rachel passed away on a Sunday at our local hospice. That evening our church abandoned our normal service and Rachel’s family and friends, and church family met together. We wept, held one another, prayed and sang songs of worship and hope.

We sang…

‘When we arrive at eternity’s shore, where death is just a memory and tears are no more…’

‘And I can see a light that is coming for a heart that holds on, and there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes, still I will praise you’

And that night, as horrible as it was, I was comforted. As weird as it feels sometimes to say it out loud, I do believe in eternal life. I believe that one day dead broken bodies will be replaced with whole new ones, I believe I will have a day of reunion with Rachel. And I believe it is Jesus who gives me this hope that brings comfort and strength, right into the depths of my mourning.