The Waiting Time of Day

Google failed me. I diligently searched the internet, but to no avail. I was unable to figure out who wrote the poem or where it came from.

You see, as I prepared for a funeral this week, the daughter of the deceased handed me an old, yellow newspaper clipping. It was a poem. Her grandmother had laminated it after her husband’s death.

The waiting time of the day for me is just like it was before.
It’s the time of day when I listen and wait for the sound of you at the door.
It’s the time of day when I make believe that soon you’ll be home with me.
Then my world will be lovely and bright again, the way it used to be.
I’ll think of your smile and hear your voice as plainly as if you were here.
And all the sorrow and grief I’ve known will magically disappear.
Please God, let me go on pretending, for this is the only way
I can bear the silence around me at the waiting time of day.

If you’ve ever experienced the death of a loved one, you know that feeling. At times it seems like a dream.

They didn’t really die. They are going to walk through the door at any moment. They are going to call you on the phone. You can practically see them. You can hear their voice.

Certain times and certain days are more difficult. For the poet, it was the time she used to wait for her husband to come home from work – the waiting time of the day.

Being a Christian – knowing what we know and believing what we believe – does not take away the pain of loss. The deeper the bonds of love, family and friendship, the more our hearts ache when we no longer can be with them.

Though our faith doesn’t make the pain of loss magically disappear, it does guard us from despair. It gives us true hope and comfort.

“We believe,” the Apostle Paul wrote, “that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Jesus died. He suffered the punishment of every one of our failures and fallings. He offers and gives forgiveness free of charge to all those who believe in him. His death paid our ticket to heaven.

Jesus rose. He conquered death. He promises that because he lives, all those who believe in him will also live. Those who fall asleep in Jesus, that is, those who die believing in him, will live forever with him.

All those who die in Christ will one day be reunited.

One day. For now, though, we wait. As we wait, our hearts ache. As we wait, we cry. As we wait, we struggle to adapt to life without them.

But we wait with hope. We wait with certainty. We wait knowing that one day, they won’t be the ones walking through the door.

We will.

One day we will walk through the door of heaven into a room full of hugs. We will be reunited, never to be separated again – all because of a God who suffered the separation of death we deserve in our place.

Because of Jesus, one day we will see them again. And that truth is what gets us through the waiting time of day.