Mary Vashon Blount: John 14:1-6
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord. We don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” “Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Over the past 6.5 years, Mary and I have had many conversations about the faith. And throughout those conversations, one theme, one thought, one hope, one assurance has arisen far above all the others that we discussed together and that assurance was this: Mary knew that one day she would meet the Lord Jesus Christ face to face, passing through the thin veil of death with Him by her side and entering what she so fondly referred to as the Glory Land: heaven, eternity, the Father’s house.
Whenever we discussed this point Mary’s face would always light up, she would appear to be filled with the radiance of the Lord’s glory as she looked forward to this face to face encounter with her Lord and Saviour. As we discussed this thought, her eyes would ever so slightly look beyond me and fix their gaze on something in the distance.
Of all the Christians I have ever met over my 32 years of being a follower of Christ I have never met anyone whose anchor of faith was so firmly rooted in the Saviour. From an earthly point of view, Mary was nothing particularly significant. She lived a modest lifestyle, didn’t travel far, had no great wealth; there was nothing earthly about her that would cause you to want to be in her presence. And yet, many hundreds perhaps even thousands of people who she had met over her 90 plus years would testify that they loved her, that they recognised how precious she was and how influential she had been in their lives. What was it that these people saw in Mary? Simply this: the anointing of the Holy Spirit and everywhere she went and with everyone she met, that anointing was so strong that people were naturally drawn to her like moths to a light bulb. She radiated the presence of Christ for all to see.
You see Mary had made a decision many years ago – to follow Jesus! No turning back, no turning back. It was a TOTAL commitment, body, soul and spirit. Nothing else mattered. She was convinced that Jesus was the Saviour. She was convinced that God was her Father. She was convinced in the filling and presence of the Holy Spirit. She was convinced that the Word of the Lord was true and its truth could set the captives free. And so particularly, in these latter days, when all around us has been and continues to be shaken, she could not be shaken because she had plunged her anchor of faith so deep into the truth, that nothing could shake her faith, nothing could deny her of the eternal future that awaited this good and faithful servant.
Dear friends we are living in very strange and in some ways perilous days. All around us is being shaken, politically, economically, socially. The people of the world are waking up to the realisation that the world’s truth can no longer be trusted. There is only one truth that will stand the test of time and Mary’s life gave witness to it: all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are in need of a Saviour and that Jesus Christ is that Saviour and that all who confess their sins and offer their lives to the Lord with not perish but receive eternal life. This is the truth that will carry you and me through these dark days. This is the truth that secured Mary’s confidence in the coming Glory Land.
“In My Father’s house are many rooms...and I am going there to prepare a place for you (Mary!) ... and I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. “ Do you believe it? Is this your reality? Don’t allow Mary’s witness in your life to just pass you by. Think about who she was. Think about what she believed. Think about what she shared with you. Think about her example. Think about her assurance. Stop, think, ponder, reflect. And receive the truth that she shared with you, the truth that will set you free. One day, like Mary, you too can see the Lord Jesus face to face in the eternal Glory Land.
About 6 weeks ago, recognising that Mary was in need of fellowship, I invited her out for a coffee with two other dear friends of hers and mine. She was very quiet, seemed a bit lost in some ways, almost as if she was waiting for a train and was no longer focussing on the present but looking into the distance... On the way home, just Mary and me in the car, I asked her whether she would like to sing the lines of a few hymns. Her face lit up! The radiance of His glory was present:
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” We were singing the truth.
“Great is thy faithfulness O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee, thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, as thou hast been thou forever wilt be.” We were singing the truth.
“When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation and take me home – what joy shall fill my heart!
Then shall I bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, ‘my God, how great thou art!’
“Then sings my souls my Saviour God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art, then sings my soul my Saviour God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art.” We were singing the truth.
The truth that set this dear saint free!
Well, the promise of the Lord has been kept.
The room for Mary has been prepared.
The Lord has come back and accompanied her to the Glory Land.
She is no longer with us. She is now with Jesus.
She is no longer a citizen of earth, but a citizen of heaven.
With her passing, the world has become a slightly darker place. Yet the Glory Land now shines that bit brighter.
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