About a month before her death, Sarah noticed the little quote on the Church of Christ's message board as we drove past it on the way to Borger. "This world is not my home." Six words, easy words, that she could read. And she asked me what it meant. Panhandle was her home, and Panhandle was on the world, so what did it mean? I told her they were from an old hymn, one mom used to sing in church when she was a girl. And then, in my off-key, warbling momvoice, I sang it for her. By the time we got to Borger, she had it down. That was one of her gifts, a quick memory and a knack for songs. She had a beautiful voice. Every time we passed the sign, going to and coming back from Borger, we sang the song. But she still didn't understand what it meant. Why isn't the world my home? So I went back to her favorite Bible story, the Easter story. About 10 years ago, a family friend gave her a DVD set of Children's Bible Stories. She watched every single one, but she watched the Easter Story until she had it down verbatim, including the voices. Sarah was also a talented mimic, but that's stories for another day.
We talked about how sad Jesus's disciples were when he died and how happy they were when he returned. And then devastated when he told them he wasn't staying. She recited:
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Her ability to memorize the dialog from a hundred movies still amazes me.
But I told her we were just staying here waiting for Jesus to bring us to our forever home in Heaven, and she smiled and said, "Okay," and that was the end of the discussion. No arguing, no doubting, just total acceptance of a pure soul.
So that's why we sung her hymn first. This world was not her home.
The second song was always one of my favorites. Growing up, I loved the melody and message. The deep assurance that no matter what was going on, God had His hand on the rudder and all was well. Even in the deepest grief. Even in my grief. A few days after her memorial, one of Sarah's teachers who had been in attendance shared the story of the song. Please go read it, and then listen with a new heart.