Last Thursday I was trying to pray for Dianne when a song kept coming to me. I was annoyed because it was distracting my praying and I don’t particularly like the song. I was unaware of it at the time but Dianne had just died. The song was Heroes live forever. I see the song as a pathetically tragic attempt of people to strive for immortality outside of Christ. Nevertheless, in my estimation, Dianne is a hero, and for very different reasons she will life forever.
Dianne’s battle with cancer was her crowning achievement, bringing to the fore qualities that had been honed over a lifetime. We saw her quickly slip from a very intelligent, articulate lady to someone who could barely get a word out and at times couldn’t add one and two. Month after month, her patience and good humor astounded me as she struggled to communicate. Forget about radiotherapy, I’d have lost hair long before that – ripped out by the roots in utter frustration. I’d have given up the fight to live, but Dianne was made of stronger stuff.
Born prematurely, she had a fight on her hands even to survive the first weeks. How impoverished we would have been had she not made it! And throughout her last 15 months Dianne again fought to live, and in so doing won many battles. Seeking to encourage her, I said to her, “You’re a fighter.” She replied, “I’m a mum.”
Leigh, Craig, Dale, your Mum had a lot to live for, but you were an enormous part of it. Nearly the first thing she uttered after learning that she had cancer was to say her greatest concern was that you, her sons, remain faithful to God. 2 John 4 expresses her heart: I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are living their lives in the truth. John was referring to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he meant his spiritual children – those born into the kingdom of God through him. Remain faithful to God and you will complete your mother’s joy; being not just her physical children, but her spiritual children; carrying not just her genes but her Christlikeness. Heaven is not a retirement village. Having triumphantly completed her earthly assignment, your mother is now engaged in even more significant work than she was down here. I believe she is very aware of you right now. She is in that great cloud of witnesses described in Hebrews 12, cheering you on from the grandstands, longing for you to be champions for Christ.
As Christ endured the cross for the joy of us being able to relish eternity with him, so your mother endured her cross in the hope that you would enjoy eternity with her. You have done much to make her proud. Through the supernatural power of Jesus each of you can continually live lives that will thrill her.
Gordon, Dianne couldn’t have had a better husband. You continually enriched her life. I thank God for you.
Nothing would thrill Dianne more, nor give her death more meaning, than if it caused each of us to re-evaluate the shortness of earthly life and our desperate need of the Lord Jesus. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.
Dianne is a hero and she will live forever, not because of her achievements – as wonderful as they are – but because of the One who loves her even more than we do – the One who went through hell that she might go through heaven’s gates. Her greatest longing is that like her, we will look to Jesus so that each of us can one day be with her for eternity.