I had not seen her for more than 20 years but at 96 years of age, Aunty Pansy recognised me immediately when she opened her front door. I was surprised. She was as bright as a button.
I was in Christchurch where earlier in the day I had given a presentation to pastors on vision and discipleship. That evening I would be speaking to leaders from the South New Zealand Conference on the vision for a disciple-making movement. One of the pastors had kindly lent me a car and I had a couple of hours to catch up on emails. However at lunch I asked some of the pastors if they knew my grandfather’s younger sister and her address. She has lived in the same house for nearly 60 years. Luckily one of the pastors was able to provide directions.
. . . at times she sits in her favourite chair, looks out the window and imagines what Jesus’ return will be like.
As I sat in the living room with the warm autumn Christchurch sun streaming through the window, Aunty Pansy and I caught up on happenings with various family members. We also chatted about the Church and my new role and its challenges, along with her life and expectations. Aunty Pansy hopes to see the decade out as she likes to complete things with round numbers. Noting her vibrancy, her clean house and her ability to cook me a nutritious meal, there’s every chance that this will happen, but if not she says, “It doesn’t matter, we have incredible hope.” She then went on to say that at times she sits in her favourite chair, looks out the window and imagines what Jesus’ return will be like. The divinely bright sky, the clouds rolling back, seeing Jesus her Saviour face to face and being called up to meet Him.
As she described the scene I, too, could picture it because it was so real for her. Hearing her express her faith has given me a renewed vision of the future. All who believe and follow Jesus are destined to meet Him and I thank God that Aunty Pansy put that vision more clearly in my mind and now hopefully yours.
Pastor Glenn Townend is president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific.