Dancing with Jesus

The Hardest Peace

I wrote recently about my friend, Kara, who had terminal cancer. She loved Jesus, her family, friends, people, and dance parties. Yesterday she slipped on her eternal ball gown and stepped into the arms of Jesus for the dance of a lifetime. I can see her swirling and smiling and laughing. With how much she radiated Jesus here on earth without having seen him face-to-face, I can only imagine how brilliantly she’s shining now as she basks in his presence.

In my last post, I wrote about how I barely knew Kara. I wasn’t part of her inner circle. We only had a hand full of conversations, but here I am writing about her again. As I contemplated what to write for the post today, and came back time and again to Kara, I felt a little guilty. Kind of like I was holding the hem of her dress to be in her light. So many beautiful tributes have been written to this sweet woman by people who knew her much better than I do.

Yet here I am, writing again. Trying to put into words what she did to me in the few times we interacted. How she changed me. Many will understand because they’ve also experienced that change. I think that maybe, God had exactly that in mind when he created Kara. Just knowing that once she found him, she wouldn’t stop until every person she came into contact with heard of him.

I remember the last time I saw Kara. I was greeting at church and she, Jason, and the kids came racing in at the last minute. They were visiting our church since Jason wasn’t preaching that day. It was late and she didn’t see me when she first came in, Jason trailing behind her saw me and greeted me. When she heard my name, she stopped, smiled and told me how good it was to see me. That’s Kara, even running late, she couldn’t just keep going without making contact.

Kara danced across this earth spreading grace and beauty and love. Ask any of her friends and they will tell you that she knew how to love. And she loved BIG. She didn’t care if you were just an acquaintance, or a friend who sat beside her through the hard years of cancer, she loved without boundaries.

I’ll tell you right now that I pale in comparison to Kara when it comes to love. Oh, I’m quite good a loving BIG with my family and friends. I struggle with loving those outside the inner circle. Not because I don’t believe they are worthy of love, but because I’m just a shy girl and it takes effort and energy. It’s a silly reason, really. Even in the midst of the hardest struggle of her life, Kara loved BIG and not just those that were easy to love.

There’s a lot I can learn from Kara and I hope that I will always remember that it doesn’t take anything away from me to love BIG.

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