But for the grace of God go ITime is measured in many ways.  By the breaths we take, the lives we affect, the pages we turn on the calendar…

Grace visits us in the largest and smallest of moments. Grace is the pause before the sigh. The hope beyond the suffering.

As my step-sister, Judy, nears the end of her battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, she writes:

“Well, folks, the guess work is over, kinda. In 2005, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s MALT Lymphoma and went through all of the scary stuff that goes with it. Now in Grace Personifieda very tragic but enlightening way, after 9 years, my lungs and my spleen are covered with tumors that are going to be my end.
Not to worry, I have grand plans and am looking forward to the adventure that I’m about to embark on.
Believe me when I say that I am not loony, I am scared of pain and panic, just not my trip. I felt sure this would be the best time to talk of this because tonight starts the morphine and loopy drugs.
I have appreciated each and every one of you. You have brought so many oohs and aws and laughs and tears. I don’t know you all personally but, I feel a kinship.”

There is a certain clarity that is demanded of us when the physicality of life begins its end.  No one knows that lucidity like those who travel that journey.  As spiritual leaders, they personify grace, courage, and faith. We find inspiration in their words, as they find peace in their hearts.

Like the poetic words of Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet:
“…In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity….”

Judy graces us with the reminder that while she now measures time in hours, eternity is but seconds away.

May God bless her as she crosses-over, hold her in His arms, and remind her that she is forever.

For those who have loved and lost, may every shining star that glows in every night sky remind you how bright your loved ones are.