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Do You Know Where Your Parents Are?

June 24, 2013

A public service announcement used to read, “It is 10 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” The implication was that responsible parents need to know where there children are, especially after dark.

As parents, we send our children off with the question, “Where are you going to be?” The answer to this question often determines the degree of stress we feel about them being gone. If they are with good friends and their families, we relax and enjoy the break. If they are in a situation that could produce concern, we worry about them until we see the ‘whites of their eyes.’

As I age and am experiencing life through different stages, I’d like to flip the question and ask, “Do you know where your parents are?” As I mentioned last week, my Aunt June died. The days leading up to her death were marked by a sense of peace and tranquility. Those of us who got to go by and visit her found a woman we rarely saw sitting down reduced to life in a hospital bed.

The setting was rather sterile but the atmosphere was dynamic. We did not have lively conversations, but they were deep. We did not share in raucous laughter, but we share in a settled joy. We were anxious about her impending death, but we were calmed by the courage we sensed in her spirit.

In talking with her children, the words ‘peace’ and ‘calm’ filled the conversation. This woman who had lived her life by faith, was now walking into eternity with that same faith. What had been practiced in life; was now evident in death.

intergenerational napWhile faith is not a magic formula for making death easy, it is the key to facing death with peace and hope. One of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child is letting them know where they are going to be for eternity. We do this by walking with Jesus. The simple confidence that one is going to be walking with Jesus offers peace to those of us who are left to wait. When we know a loved one is with Jesus, we don’t worry while we wait. Jesus promised us he was going to prepare a place for us (read John 14:1-6). When we lie awake remembering the life we shared with our loved ones, the assurance of their final Home brings a great spirit of peace.

It is eternity, and your children want to know where you will be.

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