Monday, April 9, 2012

A Reason to Celebrate

I've grown up learning about the resurrection, believing what I was taught about living again after we die, about our spirits being reunited with our bodies. But I never felt the reality of it until my grandma died.

Her decline was sudden. One day she was admitted to the hospital for what just seemed like a simple infection. The next day the doctors were telling us she was dying and my family was hurrying to her bedside to say our last goodbyes. My sister and a couple of my nieces and I went to see her that afternoon.

At first I thought we were in the wrong room. Yellow-skinned and unconscious on that hospital bed, hooked up to all kinds of beeping and whirring machines, her purple lips caving into her toothless mouth, my grandma looked nothing like herself. It was unnatural, uncomfortable, and I wanted to run away.

Yet as we stayed, the doctor telling us Grandma could hear us if we talked to her, I felt something else. I realized that Grandma was right there on the edge of life, that, though her body was there, her spirit was somewhere else, probably with Grandpa, who died thirty years before. Soon Grandma would no longer be old and frail and lonely. If everything I had been taught was true, she would be restored to all those she had loved and lost, she would be restored to her body, young and strong and never again to be separated.

Right then and there my heart burned with a conviction that the resurrection was real. And in that moment that dreary hospital room became a sacred, hallowed place.

Yesterday, in celebration of Easter, Baby Brown Eyes and I made resurrection rolls. As I tore one open and explained to Baby that it was empty just like Jesus' tomb on the third day, I was reminded of my own testimony of the resurrection, of that afternoon in Grandma's hospital room.

The gospel is full of wonderful, glorious truths. The resurrection, with its hopeful promise of life after this one and reunion with those we love, is one of the most beautiful of those truths. Because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we will all live again.

That is a reason to celebrate.

The Brown-Eyed Girl

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