I was sorting through the hundreds of books we have, and putting the ones I wanted to read again, or for the first time, on our shelf in our living space. I want to see the books I want to read so I'll be reminded to read them and also remind myself not to buy more books the next time I go to the Christian Bookstore.
Anyway, to my delight, I came across a book called: 'Prayers from the Heart' by Richard J. Foster.
Inside the cover it read:
'To a special friend, Prayers from the Heart from someone who cares from the heart - "Me" :-) Happy Birthday Louise, God bless you especially on your day! Billye 1996'
I immediately felt the longing to see her again, to hug her, to talk with her, to share the details of each others' lives, and get that special encouragement I've received from only a very few in my lifetime.
I paged slowly through the book, lingering on certain prayers, and letting my eyes quickly take in others. I sensed God's presence with me and as the tears rolled down my cheeks I came across this prayer written by Charles Wesley so many years ago and yet still is my heart's cry today.
If death my friend and me divide,
Thou dost not, Lord, my sorrow chide,
or frown my tears to see;
restrained from passionate excess,
Thou bidst me mourn in calm distress
for them that rest in Thee.
I feel a strong immortal hope,
which bears my mournful spirit up
beneath its mountain load;
redeemed from death, and grief, and pain,
I soon shall find my friend again
within the arms of God.
Pass a few fleeting moments more
and death the blessing shall restore
which death has snatched away;
for me Thou wilt the summons send,
and give me back my parted friend
in that eternal day.