Rest in peace.
What does that mean? Do we actually mean that? Rest in peace? When someone dies, do they actually "rest in peace?"
I doubt it.
I looked up where this phrase came from; and of course, the Catholics came up and more than even the origin of the phrase was it's original Latin and how to properly pronounce the "ce" sound (it's like "kay" in case you were wondering). It did say that it has to do with the soul and body resting in peace until they are re-united on judgement day. I don't know about you, but if my body at any point becomes worm food, I'm pretty sure I don't want it back on judgement day. I'll take that new one, Jesus, please, please...
Boom, boom, boom. That's what the past couple weeks have been.
Hailey. A precious young woman in Central Asia. Born and raised Muslim, she came to know Jesus on what could have easily been her death bed.
Hailey was diagnosed with hep B and cirrhosis of the liver and given two years to live. She passed away on March 27. She was in her early twenties.
I don't think she's "resting in peace." Peaceful, yes. But actually, to think of her "resting" at all makes me laugh. She did nothing but "rest" for the past year of her life - that's all she COULD do! Why now, in heaven, healed and with God would she rest?! That woman is dancing and partying with JESUS. Right now. Face to face with her Saviour; the One that gave her hope when life on earth was hell.
Rest in peace. Banange.
Arlen. Easily one of the most incredible, giving, loving men I have ever known. Kind, generous, wise, encouraging, level-headed, hilarious, strong, wonderful. Arlen.
Arlen passed away suddenly on Sunday. He was in his seventies.
I don't think he's "resting in peace." Again, peaceful - yes. But he didn't rest for but a moment here - why now, in heaven, healed and with God would he rest?!
If I try and picture "resting" in heaven, it usually looks something like me and Jesus, kickin it on the beach, lying back in the sand with a glass of something bubbly talking about things that will inevitably get me so excited I'll start jumping around because for Pete's sake - I'm on the beach with JESUS! Resting. Ha.
And do you know what I love when I think about Hailey and Arlen right now? They are together. From two completely different "worlds" and they have been brought together because of the unity of the body and salvation found only in Jesus Christ.
And how many thousands and millions of people are there to welcome them?! Arlen, Hailey, Austin, Paul! All these people together! Believers that span across the world and how many thousands of generations - endless conversation, endless praise, endless fellowship and all face to face with Jesus, forever!
So why do we, especially believers, say "rest in peace"?
I think it's more for us. As if those tombstones don't really have anything to do with the people buried under them; that "RIP" isn't for them. It's for us.
We get to "rest in peace" knowing that those brothers and sisters in Christ whom we've lost have it so much better than they ever have before. We rest in peace knowing that one day we'll see them again.
We rest in peace knowing that the God of all creation will see us through our sorrow and hurt and loss because for as much joy as we have knowing that their pain is over - we have an entirely new pain to bear as we learn to live here without them.