Friday, May 14, 2010

Update 5/14/10 Day 186

Dear friends,

Tomorrow I will post photos of David's wonderful play. He was magnificent. But tonite, I have something else to say.

"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?...The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:54-58

Our dear friend Judy Whitbeck went home to heaven this morning after a year long battle with melanoma. Judy W., who many of you prayed for and asked about, was a one of a kind, beautiful and precious woman. It's hard to imagine this world without her. She encouraged everyone she knew, and found a thousand ways to do small things with great love.

I'll always think of her when I eat blueberries. She was famous for bringing fruit salads with blueberries in the middle of winter, just because I loved them. She picked up a boatload of Glad containers for me one day because she thought I might be able to use them with all the leftovers we have in the house. She made huge pots of meat sauce for the feeding program we assisted in downtown Albany. She was up most of the night praying for my husband and daughter on November 8, despite her own dire illness. There is an endless list of her acts of charity. She was quick to smile, quick to love, quick to laugh. She was one of the dearest, kindest, most faithful souls I have ever known.

We prayed hard for Judy to get a miracle. Why some live and some die, I couldn't begin to tell you. But the truth of it is this: More than anything in this world, Judy loved her Savior. He was her all and all. She adored her husband Dick (another one of those folks you feel honored to share the road with), and her children and grandchildren. But from the beginning to the end, her heart was always drawn to be closer to Jesus. She struggles no more. Her faith is sight.

I wish I could see with these human eyes the plunder of reward she has gained from her faithful trek on her pilgrim road. No doubt she smiled at it with that darling, sweet grin, and cast the treasures at the feet of the Great One. Because He was her treasure. He was her dearest reward.

O Death, where is thy sting? It's not with Judy. We feel the sting powerfully, but for her there's nothing from here on in but joy, glory and everlasting peace. And relationship. Without the hindrance of sin, darkness or sorrow.

I love you Judy. I already miss you like crazy. You did your life well. If I could do mine one tenth as well, I would be glad. I'll see you before we know it, thanks to the grace and mercy of our One and Only. Your pilgrim road is over. You made it home. Thank you for making mine that much better for knowing you.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to our dear friend Judy! What a testimony of her love of Jesus and her love for others!

When I think of Judy, I see fruit salad. I see her wonderful smile, hear her laughter and wise words, her arms reaching out to give me a hug.

What a hole Judy has left in my heart! A hole I must now allow Jesus to fill with His love and His presence.

When I step out of this body and into the arms of Jesus, I am sure that if I look over His shoulder, I will see Judy next in line - smiling with her arms reaching out to give me a hug.

And maybe she'll have a bowl of the biggest, sweetest tasting, best smelling fruit we have ever seen. And a bowl of the most beautiful, sweetest, bluest blueberries especially for you, Loriann.

Life will never be quite the same again without Judy. Cell group will never be quite the same again without Judy. But we know that she is now standing in that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. And she lives on in our hearts forever. We will treasure the times we spent with her forever.

She is healed. She is whole. She is safe. She is loved. She is home. She is praising and worshipping the God that she loves so very much. And she is waiting to welcome each one of us home when we get there.

Do you think that she has gone on before us just so that she can put those finishing touches on that place Jesus has prepared for us?

We love you, Judy, and we miss you so much already.

We love you, Loriann.

Lorraine & Ernie

Shay said...

What a hole she will leave in the lives of many. Even though We are here in Florida, we feel the loss tremendously with you. Please know that out thoughts and prayers are with our DFG family at this trying time.

All our Love

The Calhoun/Goulet Family

Anonymous said...

Did you know that there is a right way to cut a watermelon? There is a way to add spice to your chili to make it "bloom" before you add the tomatoes. There is a way to always speak well of others and never, ever speak an unkind word about anyone. There is a way to open your home to others so they feel loved and accepted and comfortable. There is a way to understand others by knowing if they are right brained or left brained. There is a way to make every conceivable bird desire to come and be at home right outside your window. And there is a way to draw so close to God that all you can conceive of is how to get closer.

Our dear friend will be missed.

Stephen said...

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful, Godly woman, Loriann. Well done.
Love you,

diane said...

I am so sorry to hear of Judy's passing, but I am so incredibly thankful that she is in Jesus' presence forevermore. my prayers are with you and all her family and loved ones.

I love the song "Beautiful Savior", imaging what it must be like to surround Jesus with praise and adoration. Judy is now with countless worshipers, singing and praising God.