Ramblings from the Cove...

April 2019

By Lars Gren

It has been a while since I have posted a Ramblings and this one you might call a potpourri of letters. As you read this letter from one of our friends, I think you’ll understand, why this brought to mind Elisabeth’s home going which I’ll tack on at the end of the letter you’re about to read.

You asked me to write down what I’d told you about my husband. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia. He declined physically and due to lung cancer was placed on hospice. We appreciated that some of the family moved here to help us. My husband became very weak and spent his last week confined to his hospital bed at home. On Wednesday, we were sitting with him when he suddenly reached both arms up (at a 45 degree angle) toward the ceiling where he was looking with a beautiful smile on his face. His right hand was extended and with his left hand he motioned as if to say “Come here.” We said, “What do you see?” “GOD”, he replied. A minute later we asked, “You see GOD?” And he said “You wouldn’t believe it.” In a few minutes he put his arms down and folded his hands on his chest. His next comment was hard to understand but we think he said “We’ve heard about this. I saw.” He died on Friday night. I’m totally sure that GOD showed himself to him for his comfort and mine. He was buried with “Welcomed by God” on his headstone in our military cemetery. Back to our story with Elisabeth. As some of you may recall it was in June of 2015 that we had our last evening with Elisabeth. It lasted for about four hours beginning at 1 in the morning with what appeared to be a major stroke. We (Kea and Anna, our helpers and myself of course), sang and prayed with her for four hours. As the ending drew near, there was a quickening of her weakening breath. At some point I had read aloud a poem Elisabeth used to often quote, “In Heavenly Love Abiding”, and as her breathing grew quieter I read it a second time. As I read the final line, Elisabeth opened her blue eyes once more, looked at us, and then closed them with a slight smile and then became very still. I placed my hand on her lips, then checked for a pulse and said, “I believe she has left us,” and for the moment it was the sweetest and most difficult of times at 6:15 am on Monday the 15th.

If you have witnessed the above then you will know that confidence in that moment is in God being the answer. In my Grandmother’s case, my Grandfather was with her and asked “Are you afraid of being with Jesus?” To which she replied, “Oh no, He’s my best friend.” My Grandfather spent his last days in a retirement home. Every afternoon they had an afternoon stack. On this particular afternoon, the nurse came in with some cookies and she said, “Mr. Mosby, why don’t you take a rest and at 2 o’clock and we’ll have coffee.” He smiled as he put his head down and said, “It will be so good to rest.” She tucked a cover around his shoulders and left. Four hours later she came in and he was exactly as she left him, only having moved on to heaven.

On a lighter side, we have a saying “a blind squirrel will find an acorn every now and then.” The same may be true of you if you are looking for something in your house, for example, in an old closet that hasn’t been cleaned, and then you discover a long forgotten hidden treasure. Such was the circumstance in a letter that I received. It was a very lonely and dark place and prayer to God had been holding the person up.

I wanted to extend my gratitude to Mrs. Gren for her beautiful book, “Passion and Purity.” I came upon the book in an unusual way. A year and a half ago I had gone through my divorce from my marriage of many years. It was a very lonely and dark place. I was praying to God for help regarding Purity because I was struggling with being alone and needy and wanting someone to hold me. As I was praying, I was in my attic and I stepped on a book called Passion and Purity. I am not sure where the book came from because I had never seen or heard of it before. I took it that God wanted me to read it, and I did. It really put things into perspective for me. Even though some days have become darker and I still struggle with loneliness and insecurity, I count it all Joy! I have been drawn closer to my dear Savior! And I know that dawn’s light is starting to rise. I am learning that becoming a woman of purity is more than the physical. It involves all relationships and loving people from pure intent. It means rising above the world’s standard.

And here is another:

I cannot fully express how deeply I have appreciated both you and Elisabeth. Back in 2003-4, I was struggling through a difficult personal crisis. Somehow late one night I stumbled on the www.elisabethelliot.org website. Since our God’s handiwork is not labeled “coincidental,” my intro to the website was by His guidance. Over the last 15 years I’ve become one of your devotees, regularly checking for your “Ramblings. . . “ and other updates. And I too watched, prayed and wept as Elisabeth started and finished her final journey Home. Your letters have been such a joy and inspiration to read.

You’ve become a sweet friend in the Lord. It’s always a pleasure to read another update, another reminiscence and another cheerful note. Thank you so much. I know you too struggle . . . accidents, age, decisions. . . the list goes on. May the Lord continue to richly bless you Lars. My life verse is Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (NIV). The same is for you.

No doubt that there are some of you who would be my equal in age and we might have to admit that in the dark night when sleep alludes us we often think about the parting from this life. I often think about how many more nights do I have as I know it now, in good health, with strength to take my daily walks and still work. But there’s also more and more of the thought of, “How long?” “Will God give me another 10 years?” Of course we have no answer to that, but we do have the knowledge that there will come a day when the knock will be for us. May we have the faith to open the door and say, “Come in.” It certainly was what I observed in Elisabeth’s last moments when she saw what must have been something heavenly. Might we all have that confidence!

God bless y’all and that’s it from the Cove,

Lars


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