There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” David Foster Wallace, This is Water (2005)

My aunt recently returned to her eternal home. Jane was just an ambassador here on this earth. She had been seeking those things which are above – where Christ dwells at the right hand of the Father – for most of her life.

About a year ago, Jane shared that her heart’s desire was to get back to church. God nurtured that desire by bringing the church to her home. Now, she is with that great cloud of witnesses, praising the LORD and cheering us on. God gives us the desires of our hearts when we surrender to Him.

As a side note, I imagine Jane has already had more than one conversation with the Lord about more than one of those she loves here on earth. We should expect some response – some opportunity.

Jane’s transition reminded me of a few things about life. Like fish in water, we often live without realizing what we are living in. Though we value life, we forget it is there. We lose sight of its full meaning.

So, let’s stop and consider some truths about life.

First, life is eternal. That means it has no beginning or end. We were in the mind of God before He knit us in our mother’s womb. When our physical bodies cease to function, life goes on. Developing an eternal perspective on life is a life-changer (no pun intended).

It would be wrong to think of Jane in the past tense. “Life goes on” means more than we sometimes mean. We should not say, “Jane loved well.” As good as that sounds, it is inaccurate. Our thoughts and words should be, “Jane loves well. Jane loves the Lord. Jane loves her family and friends.”

Second, life has purpose. We were created by God for good works. Those works continue beyond our physical existence here on earth. Our time here is merely for qualification and preparation – to co-reign with Christ forever. There is a purpose for every season (and for every man, woman, and child). We would do well to find ours.

Third, life is a process. Our transformation into the image of the glory of the Lord is a process. The renewing of our minds, perfecting of our faith, sanctification, salvation, etc. – all processes. Importantly, these are God’s processes. They are accomplished by His grace. They must be done in His way. Our part is hopeful, humble, and patient participation – resigned that we can do nothing without Jesus Christ – the Life.

Our beloved Jane entered the narrow gate and travelled the difficult road that leads to eternal life. She trusted God with her life. In return, He brought forth her righteousness as the light and her justice as the noon day.

I believe she is encouraging us to consider the eternality, purposes, and processes of our lives. What God does with us now will have tremendous consequence when we join that great cloud of witnesses.

It will be good to see that smile again.

Humbly yours and forever His,