Prairie View

Thursday, October 17, 2013


At 5:20 this evening, heaven gained a new resident--my dear friend Marian.  I've called her my dear friend a number of times recently, and it seems cliche, but I can never think of a better way to refer to her.

Marian told someone a week or more ago "It would be such a relief to wake up in glory." I'm glad that she does not have to wake up one more time still bound to her diseased and weakened body.  I'm glad too that she does not have to struggle one more time to breathe, to speak, or to cough up the phlegm that clogged her air passages.

Beyond the physical ailments she endured, I rejoice that she will never carry another burden for the welfare of loved ones.  She told me several weeks ago that God can take care of all those things that she'd like to stay and help fix.  She had learned long ago, however, and spoke of it often--that only God can fix many of the things that are wrong in the world.

Marian loved beauty.  She found it often where others would have missed it, and she created it out of things others would have discarded.  With her vision, the old buggy shed became a delightful tea house, and the battered bureau a gleaming curvaceous piece of furniture in her parents' bedroom.  She told me it was the first piece she ever refinished, and more recently it stood in the bedroom where Marian spent her final days.  Pottery she had collected here and there graced the bureau top.  She probably found it at thrift stores and garage sales.  She certainly did not pay art fair prices for her treasures.

The gauzy white curtains in Marian's sickroom were made from the stash of fabric her mother never got sewed up.  They draped scarf-like at the windows and moved softly in the breeze.  Marian told me with quiet joy that through those windows in two walls of her room she could see the moon at night and the sunset in the evening.   In that visit we also laughed at some of the indignities of living with a malfunctioning body.  It was the best giggle we'd had together in a long time.

I told Marian at that visit that I had prayed especially that, regarding further treatment, the road ahead would become very clear.  By this time, she had been told by an oncologist that he had nothing more to offer her.  She told me she's "so glad for that prayer."  That expression was typical of her ever-grateful spirit.  I also told her that the Lord gave me a word regarding her future when I hardly knew how to pray for her.  The word was "Deliverance" and I "saw" it happening for her, although I still didn't know for sure at that time how deliverance would come.  

When I asked Marian if there's anything I can do for her, she said she'd like to be able to read some books on heaven to Lanie, her four-year-old great-niece (more like a granddaughter, actually).  "Could you find something like that?"

I asked her what she had in mind and then looked for books with pretty pictures and simple, true words.  I picked out and ordered three books from Amazon, and one from a local bookstore and delivered them to the door one of the last times I stopped in.  On the visit just previous to that, I had walked into her room just long enough to ask Marian if I could pray with her and for her, and she said "yes."  I held her hand and prayed for angels to surround her bed and her room, and that she could feel the presence of Jesus, and for relief of her pain, and she thanked me.  It was the last time I saw her.  

Today the Kansas wind stopped, and this evening, right by our house, a very long and noisy train slowed and finally stopped and waited silently for a long time.  School stopped a day early this week for a teacher's work day tomorrow at the end of the first quarter.  Everything feels a little hushed and motionless right now.  It's one fitting way to honor the occasion of Marian's waking up in glory.


One of my favorite poems on heaven is this one:

“Stepping Ashore”

Oh! Think to step ashore,
And find it Heaven;

To clasp a hand outstretched,
And find it God’s hand!

To breathe new air,
And that celestial air,

To feel refreshed,
And find it immortality;

Ah, think to step from storm and stress,
To one unbroken calm:

To awake and find it Home.

Robert E. Selle

I can "see" Marian in every couplet, and I rejoice in her great blessing.


Marian was 59.  She was the second to youngest in a family of 11 children.  Her mother, Lydia, survives, as do nine of her 10 siblings.  The surviving siblings are Calvin, Menno, Abe, David, Joe, and Rosa Yoder, Anna Weaver (Clayton), Wilma Beachy (Paul), and Judy King (Calvin).  A brother William is deceased.  Her father, Melvin, died in his early 90s.

Rosa has been Marian's housemate for many years.  They moved in with their aged parents when their father became ill and they stayed there ever since.


  • Tears and treasures memories. I am so grateful I heeded the Holy Spirit's prompting to stop by her house with a specific bouquet of flowers I had seen earlier, and God told me to buy them to take to their house. It was for all of them, but it was the last time I got to see Marian and talk to her when I stopped in as the next times she was resting.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 10/17/2013  

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