A Vision – The Race

Flashes of light… shapes streaming past.
Thundering feet, heavy breathing, seeing them cross.
It’s a race.  
I’m watching from the sideline.
All ages, all sizes, more than I can count,
whizzing by the across the finish line—zoom, zoom, zoom.
A race.
We are all running.
It’s over in a blink.
Dad already finished.
What a race! He brought me glory.
It’s over in a blink.
But Mom—it’s so hard.
She will cross in victory; he is there waiting.
He was such a great runner, is that why he finished first?
He would be rooting for mom, cheering her on.
His smile watching her run—the biggest ear-to-ear grin the world has ever known.
She’s making me proud.
He’s proud too.
He’s here, with me—at the finish line.
You—your race..focus straight ahead.
Fix your gaze directly before you.
It’s over in a blink.
I’m here, now—with you.
I’m also there, then—at the finish.
Run with purpose. Bring me glory. Finish strong.

My dad passed away last April.  I’m doing well, but sometimes I still feel as if my heart will melt from my chest for the grief. He was given 75 years, and he filled them with integrity, character, purpose, and truth. I was thinking of him last night and a wave of grief started to come; suddenly however, it was replaced with this vision. With the images in my head came whispers of encouragement. They were so real, so strong, that I had to share them here.
A few months ago I watched my husband and stepsons run in a race. My daughters and I were positioned by the finish line. As the runners started to finish, I intended to take pictures of our victors as they crossed over, but soon it was clear this was impossible. This race had too many people. They were everywhere, passing so rapidly you couldn’t possibly move your eyes quickly enough from face to face in time to react. Zoom, zoom, zoom they flashed by—all ages, shapes, sizes, speeds.  Some were going for it like mad, others barely dragging along. Yet they all crossed over.
The vision i had last night was like this. Like the sands on the seashore so many people. Our whole family was running, and I could see Dad at the finish line, could hear him yelling for Mom.  She was struggling a bit, but she was running and he was smiling so big. That was my dad. He loved my mom so much; he was so proud of her.
I feel so clearly God gave me this vision.  The words in italics were whispers I kept hearing. Your Dad was a champion. Don’t focus on loss, focus on his victory—he ran his race and finished in glory! He’s waiting, like me, at the finish. Remember the race he ran—the example. Celebrate him. Be like him. Keep running.  It’s over in a blink.
I feel this tremendous weight—the brevity of it all.  People tell you when you are younger, it goes so quickly.  I get that now more and more. Memories from 20 years ago; how was it that long, how is it possible?  Time slipping by, so quickly.
Losing Dad was and is one of the hardest things I have ever faced in my life.  Yet I thank God for visions like this—they are reminders.  They are a gift to help us run with purpose, with meaning, without weights dragging us back.
Because as Christians, this race doesn’t end at the finish. It begins.
Look straight ahead. Make every second count.
It’s over in a blink.
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