Post Office Box 37

In my Father's house are many rooms. John 14:2 (NIV)
My brother, sister, and I recently closed my mother's Post Office box. For more than a half century she had received her mail at box 37 in the tiny community of Evangeline in the Cajun area of Louisiana. We had moved to that area when I was a toddler, so now over 50 years later, I can hardly imagine her not going to that little Post Office to get her mail.

Mom was in a ferocious battle with cancer for about three months. She fought hard but in the end old yellow death won the battle – the battle, but not the war. That had been won decades earlier when she discovered the love of God and embraced it fully.

Closing her box, going through her things, putting her house up for sale – all of those actions had a dream-like quality about them, as if they were not quite real. It all seemed like a dream, but it was real, of course. Many people have walked that same path before us. Letting go of home and closing long-established chapters is never easy. How can you say goodbye to what has always been a part of your life?

I can't claim to be surprised by that. Over the years I have conducted too many funerals to be caught off guard by the permanence of death. An old Spanish proverb states, "Sooner or later, the great hush comes to every house." Both grief and gratitude get mingled in the heart. But in the midst of that I remember that there is One who stands outside of time and change. He is greater than any disease and the decay of death. He lives in eternity and is not constrained by time and space.

My mother knew this One. She loved Him and spent much of her life serving Him through her little church in her community. While we cleaned out her house I remembered that Jesus once promised a permanent residence for everyone who followed him. "In my Father's house are many rooms," he said. I believe that Mom is there now, with Dad and all those who have gone before. Some day I plan to be there also.

I hope that whoever next rents Post Office Box 37 in Evangeline, Louisiana, will be there someday. Can I count on seeing you there, too?
Father, you have given us great grace in receiving. Also give us grace in letting go. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.