Saturday, August 4, 2012

a cupful of death

"What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup."

Last month I lost two friends. I didn't misplace them. They died. It was a grievous month.

Becky is like a sister, growing up in Korea with me. I lived with her family before there was a hostel for MKs in Seoul. Her family is my family. She fought breast cancer and survived brilliantly. Then non-metastatic liver cancer came and took her away. Another fight, not as long. It gave us time to grieve, so we thought. But it still hit like a two by four when Uncle Larry called my cell as I rode along in the car, Becky was finally free.

Koos is a South African friend from our Mozambique days. He and his wife lived in Quelimane for years alongside us. He was a woodcrafter par excellence. He made the beautiful doors in our home. We enjoyed braais with his family. Our children went to the same Portuguese school and we mothers fought the same cultural struggles with it. The anopheles mosquito got him. Cerebral malaria. And we long-timers, we were the ones who were proactive and aggressive whenever there was a suspicion. But it got him and Retha wondered and blamed herself: "if only--"

For many years our hearts grieved because Koos could not make sense of our confidence in God. We tried the Experience Faith book with him and his family. When we discussed Abraham leaving home and family for he knew not where, all Koos could say was, "He was crazy, man." End of discussion. But in the end, Koos got crazy, too, and handed over his life and business to the Lord. After we left.

So here I am, remembering two friends, both in a place I eagerly look forward to.  I affirm that what I've lost is nothing to what they've found. And I will find. This death stuff, it's a drop in the bucket compared to life. But we are the cups, and we don't know much outside our rims.

So I miss Becky and Koos. And I tear up, remembering the litany of those whom I've lost, and miss terribly, beginning with my grandmother back in Korea when I found her cold and still one Sunday morning.

One day I'm going to set my cup of death next to life and see what a pittance it truly was.

1 comment:

Beckye said...

Karen, I am so sorry for your losses. They are heartbreaking in this broken world. We miss the joy and love of dear friends and family, but you are so right. Compared to the life, love, joy, and peace they are experiencing (and that we will experience together with them and the Lord), it will be forgotten and as nothing. Praying for comfort as you grieve, and sweet memories, and hope for the future together.