On Thursday night of this past week, I received a phone call about 10:30. It was a call from my cousin: “Hey Stan, I wanted you to know that Mom just died.”
I didn’t sleep much that night. I kept thinking about my Aunt Ila. I reminisced about my childhood days at Sallyards, and the Seymour gatherings at that white house bordered by railroad tracks on the South and surrounded by the captivating beauty of the Flint Hills.
My memories were of a time when both Ila and I were much younger. As I thought of her, I remembered the sound of her joyful laugh, the infectious smile that lined her face, and the sparkle in her eyes. Most of all, I remembered her kind gentle spirit and the warmth of her ever-present love.
As I thought about her love, I remembered the words of the Apostle Paul:
For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
I hope this verse convinces you, as it does me, that not even the princes of darkness can separate us from the love of God.
When you are stirred up and trampled down by the tragedy of death and the miles of trials you’ve walked in your life, why not take a peek at things from God’s perspective? God has a hold on you and He isn’t going to let you go.
Jesus said: My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Are you “persuaded” by the words of Paul and convinced that there is no power on earth or below or heaven above that can separate you from the love of God?
I think Aunt Ila was convinced of this truth. I think she could say: “We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him (I John 4:16).”
Whenever I look North of Highway 54 and my eyes see an empty and vacant pasture that used to be Sallyards, my mind is still full of memories.
One that remains and will always be cherished is the memory of Aunt Ila’s love.