These bodies aren’t meant to last forever. “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)
Looking over photo memories, I recall our families gathering for holidays, specifically Christmas and Thanksgiving. I have images that reflect us smiling and laughing, exchanging gifts and enjoying life together.
Thanksgiving was one of Ivan’s favorite holidays. We often spent Thanksgiving at my mom’s home. My sisters & I gathered crowed together in the living room. Sometimes Spanish Christmas carols played in the background while others tried to join in with instruments.
Ivan would join the family but ultimately, he would go back to his home because he too had cooked a bird! He loved cooking especially for Thanksgiving.
The last couple of years Ivan battled cancer. An enemy that at times seems to have no mercy. He fought strong and valiantly.
I treasure my conversations with Ivan because through it all he leaned and pressed into the heart of God. He said he was not afraid to die because he knew where he was going. His heart broke for the injustices all around us; the troubles of man, including sickness.
He new we were in a fallen world and truly recognized sin at it’s worst. It would break his heart to others go without. He also recognized his own need, a need for a Savior. He trusted his life to Jesus.
Ivan was not a rich man as most of us define riches. His treasure overflowed from his heart, a generosity and a spirit of kindness that was tangible. A family man for sure.
One of my fondest memories brings me back decades when he designed a gold bracelet for me with stones settings. You see, Ivan was a jeweler. Again, the riches of gold in his hand but it was his heart that reflected riches.
I wonder how Ivan is enjoying the “streets of gold” today? The Bible quotes Jesus, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
Yesterday, God who gives the breath, called it back to himself. Ivan’s place was ready.
Ivan has no need for earthly treasures of gold or stones. These items are used as material where he has entered.
“The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:18-27)
Ivan’s name was in the book!
I’m thankful for the memories and life intertwined. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
He will be missed. But I will see him again."
God bless you!~Liz