35 Jesus wept.36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?” John 11:35-36 NASB
My sister is this wonderful, loving, smart and generous person. Growing up we all tried to be like her. As adults we all tried to imitate her attitude towards life. She graduated with honors from college with a degree in mathematics. She could have worked anywhere for any price, but she came back to rural South Carolina to teach. Tricia wanted to carry on the family tradition of servanthood or discipleship in action. Then December 31, 2017, came. It started out normally enough. I got a phone call from my niece around four that afternoon. Tricia only had hours. Around eight thirty, my sister got a phone call from our aunt. All I could hear was “oh no.” I turned to look at my sister and the look on her face said everything I needed to know even before she said the words, “She’s gone.” We both looked at each other and the pain on our faces mirrored each other before the tears came.
The next day we remembered to breathe and place one foot in front of the other. We knew this is what Tricia would want us to do. I still remembered when she first told us she had pancreatic cancer. I hugged her and said, “Tricia I know that God will heal you. You are going to be okay.” She said I know. It is this faith that had sustained me throughout her illness. I knew that God would heal her. My first human reaction, but God I knew in every part of my being that this was Your Will.
God said call Vivian, so I called Vivian. I told her about my sister. I began to cry. Vivian told me it was okay to cry. She reminded me that it was God’s way of allowing us to heal. Then she said something phenomenal. Jesus wept. She began to go over the story about Lazarus in John 11. She told me that even though Jesus knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus wept. Jesus was setting the example for us when death entered our lives. Throughout his earthly ministry he showed us how to be human. Crying was okay, I was following Jesus’ example.
Then I got to my faith. I told Vivian of how I knew God was going to heal my sister. I told her of how when I looked at her body and how thin she had become, I still saw her as healed. I told her when my niece had called I still knew she would be healed. What was all that faith for? Vivian as usual said something exceptional. She told me that when her husband was ill she had the same faith. She told me that someone had told her that “faith” was for me. God knew I would need it to get through this time. Vivian reminded me that our will is not always God’s will. Death is a part of life. Tricia was no longer in pain.
Later that week someone sent me a facebook post of the King James Version of John 3:16, “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It hit me when God said to me, “Constance, Tricia is in eternity. She is alive and healed.” My sister is before God in eternity and she is alive. She had to experience this end before she could have eternity. That is love. Death as we know is not the end. God is good. “38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39, NASB
 I met Vivian Brown-Toussaint at seminary. We became fast friends. She is my personal pastor.
 Vivian is a chaplain to cancer patients.