Together Forever: Reflecting on Life & Death

by Nancy Grisham

As I write, my friend Sandra Thomas is preparing the home-going service for her husband Danny. He was a man who loved and served God. As the condolences flowed into Facebook, I was struck by the power of one life lived well.

Danny was a family man. He was dad to Dandra, Mario, and Bridget, a grandfather to Breylin, Jaiden, Jeryn, and Jamen, an uncle, cousin, friend, and a businessman. He was a man of true integrity. He had a big love for the people in his life.

Danny Thomas on the left with Sandra seated, surrounded by children and grandchildren

On the Facebook posts Danny’s family and friends shared the influence that he had on their lives. Young men admired him and wanted to be like him. A former employee said he was the best boss she had ever known. They all loved him.

However, it was the words of Danny’s niece Bre Brown that captured the bigger perspective of this loss and grief. She moved us beyond the moment straight into forever.

We as children are blessings to our parents. Our parents are bigger blessings to us! We sit here and take life for granted not knowing what tomorrow may bring…. One thing that has always stuck with me is when my cousin Dandra died and my cousin Mario Thomas told us all to never take life for granted.

We all get caught up in this thing called life and we sometimes forget the bigger picture of life, and that’s making sure that when we die we go be with all the family and friends that we lost that are in heaven with our Father! When that time comes for me I’m going to make sure I see my son, my granny and papa (on both sides), my cousins Mont and Sandra, and my uncle Danny Thomas.

Life is too short. You have to make sure that you tell your loved ones that you love them everyday! Do not go a day without talking to them! I thank God for blessing me with a wonderful family. You guys please keep God first. This world is just temporary, but my God is permanent! I’m blessed to be in a family that keeps God first! And I will continue to teach my children to keep God first in whatever they do!

As deep as Sandra and her family’s loss is today, the comfort and hope of God are greater. The next time they see Danny, there will be no tears or no grief – just Forever Joy.

In the meantime, Bre is right, we sometimes forget the bigger picture of life, and that’s making sure that when we die that we go be with all the family and friends that we lost that are in heaven with our Father!

By God’s grace, like Danny, we can live lives of integrity that honor God. Through Christ, we can love people. We can meet needs. We can be generous. We can be honest. We can be kind.

While there is still time on this side of eternity, we can also talk with our family and friends about Christ. We can share the simple yet powerful message: God loves you. Jesus lived, died, and rose to forgive you and give you eternal life. You and I get to either say Yes or No Jesus.

Only Yes to Jesus assures heaven – Together Forever.

Danny Thomas, your life is still speaking. We are listening. Thank you.

 

Nancy Grisham (@nancygrisham) is the author of Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest. She has been on faculty at Wheaton College, served in the Billy Graham Center, and has been the evangelism pastor in a church of 6,500. Nancy speaks on knowing God and making Him known, through the ministry of Livin’ Ignited. She lives in Colorado, where she enjoys a career in real estate.