[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
Something very profound happened to me and my son as I was picking him from preschool this past Monday. It’s a fairly big school with different classes and so when I went to his class he was there with his teachers and fellow friends. Picking him up from school is part of my daily routine. I have done it a countless time and the boy has never said something so profound as what he said this Monday. The minute he said it I realised the magnitude of his words. He said, ”Today it was eight and yesterday it was three children waiting”. It is amazing that you can do something daily and never really think of its significance. As parents we take it for granted that we go to fetch our children. It is our responsibility after all. What we don’t realise is as much as the children play outside in the school lawn or are inside the class when it is time to go they are waiting for us. They stop playing; they take the little that is in their bags and go home with mom or dad. They are happy and excited that someone has come to fetch them.
It is a sad thing indeed, I would assume really for a child to keep on counting as they look up it is not their mom and dad who has come to pick him up. When I go to pick up my son he always runs to my arms. I always have to have my arms outstretched for him to run to them and lift him up otherwise he might hurt himself. He is always beaming with joy; happy; smiling and shouting MAMA. He knows he is running to arms of love and belonging. I always scoop him in my arms and we begin to talk about his day. It is always a reunion of joy and excitement at seeing each other.
On Monday the world, especially the Christian community, woke up to devastating, tragic and surprising news of the passing of Dr Myles Munroe, his beloved wife Ruth Munroe and the rest of the people that were on the plane that crashed. So many of us are still in a state of shock at the news and the reality is starting to sink in that we will never again see the great man of God talking to us. He has indeed left countless volumes of work — wisdom that we can tap into on many different subjects. He always said that when he dies he wanted to “die empty”. Many of us believe that he did. I was numb for most of the day trying to come to terms with the news in a state of denial; in a state of wonder; questioning “why?”
As I picked up my son on Monday; after his observation of the number of kids who were waiting, I looked at this loving act of fetching my kids differently. With my other two who go to “big school” they wait outside at the school yard with many other kids. Every day I have to locate them in a sea of many school children but I always find them. They don’t always run to my arms and hug me but I do see them smiling. The underlying thing is they wait for me, their parent to come and more importantly I will never leave the school without finding my kids. It is an exercise that many parents do every single day. If a parent can not make it on time to fetch their child when the school comes out they make arrangements for a trusted friend or family member to fetch their child from school; from practice from a place they went to; from the mall; a friend’s place; a party. If you cannot go yourself you make an arrangement for someone to go pick up your baby.
No loving parent; no responsible parent leaves their child without making arrangements for them. As I am trying to come to terms with the tragic deaths of the nine lives that were lost on Sunday in that plane crash I realise that it was their time to go home. It was their time to go back to Daddy. There are different home settings. Some children when they wait they wait in fear because they know what home is like. It is a home of abuse; constant fights. When they see mom, when they see dad it is not necessarily excitement. If it was up to them they would not be going home because home to them is not a place of love. It is a place they would want to avoid. A place they would love to stay away from.
Going home to different realities
There are many grades in any school. If it is a pre-school they divide the classes according to how old the babies and toddlers are. If you go to a primary or high school there are different age groups. Old or young as they are they know that school is not their home. All of them go home when it is time! Mom can make an arrangement with the school to pick up her child early at school but come the end of the school day every child has gone home. They go home to different realities. Some go to loving homes where they are cherished and some go to homes where they are abused. As children they do not have a choice in the atmosphere of their home; unfortunately not do they choose their parent.
It begs the question how would you and I be when it is time to go home because each and everyone of us will be “picked up” one day. Will we rush with excitement to the arms of our loving Father? Would we be ready when it is time to go home? Would we know in our hearts that we had finished the events of the day? When it’s our time to go home will we be eager? Will we be waiting anticipating the reunion? Would we shudder in fear when that time comes?
You and I have a choice to the type of spiritual home we will go to when it is our time to be “picked up” In John 14 verse 6 Jesus says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Heaven is real but so is hell. When a soul departs from the body it goes to one of two homes — to heaven or to hell. One is a place full of love, peace and joy and the other is a place full of pain and endless suffering. Where you end up is your choice. You choose where you spend eternity. The Bible says that God rejoices at the death of His faithful servants (Psalm 116:15). I can relate to this because I always look forward to seeing my children when they come back from school. Our Dad looks forward to us going home to be with Him. He loves all of us equally. We are the ones who close the door to a relationship with Him. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”. We are the ones who open the door.
Do you want assurance?
Do you want to have a relationship with Almighty God today? Do you want to be sure that when it is time for you to go home you go home to the Father; you go home to Heaven? No one knows the day or the hour when they will go home. Dr Myles and his team thought they were going to a leadership conference and it was their time to go. There are other unreported people all over the world who died on Sunday. They also did not know that Sunday was their last day this side of eternity.
Together with the Munroes below are the names of the people who went home to be with the Lord on Sunday 09th November 2014. Young and old they were “picked up” to go home to their heavely home. May our prayers be with their families at this time.
Dr Myles Egbert and Ruth Ann Munroe! (Both were 60 years old). Dr Myles Munroe inspirational speaker, author, consultant to business and governmental leaders and founder of the Bahamas Faith Ministries (BFM). Mrs Ruth Ann Munroe co-pastored BFM and travelled with her husband to many different nations ministering the word of God. Her daughter Charisa Munroe said this about her mother: “My mom, Ruth Ann Munroe, was the epitome of grace. She was truly my queen. She was the essence of everything that God defined as a wife and mother. She stood alongside my dad, as the love of his life, sharing faithfully in ministry with him, raising their children and graciously serving him as her king.”
A loving husband, devoted family man and mentor Mr Stanley Thurston age 62, the special pilot to Dr Myles, who flew him all over the world was also a victim in that fatal plane crash.
Co-pilot Frankan Demeyer Cooper age 35 years of New Providence. He was a husband and father of two. He was an assistant anaesthesiologist at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Assistant Pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries, Pastor Richard Pinder. He was 59 years old.
Youth leaders Lavard and Randel Parks and their young son Johanan
Diego DeSantiago, 38, formerly of Oswego, served as a prophet by the name of King Diego DaGreat. He worked as a Spanish interpreter to Dr Munroe
“The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation,” Munroe once said. “You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live. And most people are concerned about growing old rather than being effective.”
We thank God for the life of Dr Myles Munroe, his wife Ruth Munroe and the lives of the seven who were called home.
Gateway News would like to extend our condolences to the Munroe family, as well as the Thurston, Pinder, DeSantiago, Cooper and Parks families who lost their loved ones.