Rudy and I had just gotten settled into our little cabin in Gatlinburg, TN when we got the call about my dad. I crumbled; we crumbled. A call like this is one that other people get, not us, not my family. It’s one that you can certainly never prepare for.
Dad was an avid motorcyclist. Whether it was riding to work or riding through the mountains, he would ride his bike any chance he got. He was in a pretty nasty accident about 5 years ago. His bike slid off of a small cliff. He bailed before the motorcycle slid off, but he did break 7 ribs. He talked about it . . . all the time. When he wanted his way, he would hold on to his side, groan a little bit, and say, “Mexican food just sounds so much better than what you are wanting to eat.” That was definitely his favorite joke for a while. But seriously, dad was always so careful on his motorcycle. He wore the right gear and got vocally upset when he saw people riding in shorts and without a helmet.
Monday, December 14th, 2015 was just bad timing.
I don’t know why our Father decided to take my dad Home so soon. I’m not so sure there’s even a reason…He just did.
I struggled for a long time with God over this. “Didn’t you say that you work all things out for the good of those who love you, God? Well, I love you. My sisters love you. My family loves you. This isn’t good for any of us!” I’ve never been on such a rollercoaster with God before. One minute I’m yelling at Him out of honest anger; the next I am crumbling in His steadfast hands, longing for his embrace.
I haven’t really pinpointed a reason for my father’s death yet, and I may never reach that level of peace. Maybe that’s part of why I’m writing this; I’m still trying to figure out how to do this grieving thing. But I have learned some things. I’ve grown. I have a new found faith in the promises of everlasting life. I imagine Heaven differently than I did just a few months ago. I used to only picture Heaven as a room full of angels singing, kneeling, jumping, dancing in front of the King. Now I see all sorts of different elements.
My sister reminded me of something recently that has really stuck with me. God created community when He created Adam and Eve. He wants us, even calls us, to live and to grow in communion with other believers. And I don’t think that God intends death to stop that. I think He’ll want us to continue living in communion even after life on earth stops.
So I know I’ll have time with my dad again. And not just with Kim Caver, but with the perfect, redeemed, holy Kim Caver. A dad without worry, without anxiety or depression. A dad without insecurities, without a history of addiction. I’ll be with a dad who is full of unspeakable joy, who exudes the love of God. I always thought that my dad was pretty darn close to perfection when he was on earth, but this will be the real deal. Someday, the perfect version of myself will get to be in communion with the perfect version of my dad. What a sweet, sweet day that will be.
Yes. I long to be in the fullness of God’s presence among the perfection of God’s people. Yet I also have this refreshed desire to bring Heaven here on earth, to see redemption win, to see idols fall, to see every knee bow and every tongue confess that He alone is to be praised.
Now, here I am, sitting in the living room, hearing Rudy practice for Sunday morning worship. “Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead! Jesus! Jesus!” Yes. Praise the Lord for grace! For mercy! For sacrifice and forgiveness and unconditional love. For washing us white as snow. For the promise of perfection. For the promise that I’ll get to see my dad again. Praise the Lord because suffering is only temporary and His love endures forever!