It’s surprising how the trivia of the world can “suck all of the air out of the room”. In light of eternity, things that are passing away and have minimal impact on our ultimate goal of heaven should be considered trivial…. not that important. They may not seem trivial at the time; they may seem really important. “Gee, did the Yankees win last night…. yikes, boy the Cardinal’s relief pitching is a disaster…. rats, the stock market is tanking, there goes my 401K ….” While these may have some importance and may not be totally trivial… in light of heaven or hell, they are unimportant, unless they impact our final destination.
Here’s something that is not trivial. This morning a very holy and wonderful woman of God passed into eternity. This was a major event. Joanne Quense was a pure hearted and loving woman of God… faithful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend … a model of holiness. Joanne died this morning. I can’t ever recall Joanne saying anything negative about someone. She had a glow of gratitude on her face. She loved Jesus with all her heart.
The “love chapter” in first Corinthians says, “ Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1Cor. 13:4-7) That was Joanne. Joanne loved the Lord. She loved her husband Walt and all of their kids and their kids’ kids, and their kids’ kids’ kids…. there were a lot of Quenses. Joanne had so many friends that she loved and that loved her and were blessed by her life.
Today our children are recalling Joanne Stories….. “She taught me how to crochet, get into puzzles, forgotten cookies and she always had fruit snacks on hand.” Another one piped up with “I was just thinking about her teaching me crocheting and how I’d always volunteer to run anything over for Mom because she always gave out the strawberry fruit snacks.” Another said “she was an angel on earth and now in heaven.” Her goddaughter Cristin commented, “I can just picture her walking into the glory of Heaven and being hugged by Jesus, her face filled with wonder and joy and excitement and peace.” The stories are just beginning to roll in.
Psalm 116:15 never seemed more appropriate, “precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones.“ Joanne was precious. She was holy and kind. I believe Joanne was a saint. I’m happy that this holy woman of God finished the race and is with God, but the world sure seems a little less bright and hopeful without her. So Joanne don’t forget about all of us and may we see you again. Get the fruit snacks ready.
P.S. And thanks to all who assisted her in these finals years…especially to John & Mary and all the Quense family, and to Merve. Joanne is praying for you all.