Cynthia gone a month now

A month ago today Cynthia left this world. Two ladies from the village have planted flowers on Cynthia’s grave, and Anouchka and I will finish that planting with several more flowers after June 1st. Many have asked me to keep writing, a friend said he was encouraged by my posts that we didn’t pray badly, or insufficiently.
We were being prepared for her departure, without realizing it at the time:
* Already in November 2007 Hervé Guilloy, a prophetic friend from France, came to Burtigny and had a prayer for each of us. His word for Cynthia was something like this: ”You will not see the answer to many of your prayers . . .” This was a troubling word, and she mentioned it to a couple of praying friends; but as far as I know did not receive any more understanding about it.
* At the end of last year Philip and Amy felt that the Lord was showing them that there would be a big change for them this Spring, so they had already asked to be released from their responsibilities at the Salem YWAM base and were free to jump on the plane to get here quickly. * I had felt that a big change would come for me this year, but I had assumed it was linked to my turning 65 in December . . . and I had no intercontinental travel planned from May through October, which is unheard of.
* Cynthia had felt very strongly to spend the entire month of February in the Midwest, and had much good time with her mother and brother, as well as seeing my mother and youngest brother, our dear friends Dave & Barb Opperman, and her sister Alice and brother-in-law Phil who flew out from California. And then she left that note in her nightstand about the songs she wanted sung at her funeral . . .
No dear ones, we prayed well, and we prayed enough. The One who numbers the hairs on each of our heads had seen that one maverick molecule on that one gene, and warned us ahead of time. And He decided not to answer all those prayers we prayed, but to allow the illness to take its terrible course . . .
I am happy that Cynthia is eternally relieved from the ever-increasing pain she was living in, from arthritis, sciatic, and allergy headaches; many nights she could not sleep because the pain was so bad, and she was going to have to greatly reduce her beloved gardening this year, which would have been very hard on her. The doctors couldn’t seem to help, either.
When we pray for healing we must realize that one way the Lord answers is to grant eternal healing . . .
Now Cynthia is running pain-free through the meadows of Heaven, singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music . . .” unless she has found some celestial songs by now that she likes even better; although that is difficult to imagine. And as our godson John wrote after her passing, “If Heaven can be a brighter place, then it is.”
Thanks so much for all your prayers and written messages of sympathy – I used to think that “overwhelmed with kindnesses” was just an expression, but it is my reality. So many have done so much for us . . . I have begun teaching again, that helps. So do my flowers.
Philip and Amy left last weekend to attend a YWAM seminar in England and are being well ministered to there; they are planning to go to Kauai in the Hawaiian islands this summer to staff a DTS.
The Lord is faithful, and His mercies endure forever. Tom from Burtigny

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Cynthia’s forget-me-nots

The pink and blue flowers in my round flower bed are myosotis, whose common English name is forget-me-nots. Cynthia loved seeing them in the Spring, and the cheerful way they multiply to try to take over the whole garden. Now she has passed “from the land of the dying into the land of the living” (C.S. Lewis).

No Cynthia, we will forget you not, even those who only met you once never forgot the experience, as many are writing and telling us about.

She did many things well, and two of them were hospitality and traditions. Ask Celia about the times Cynthia served After-8 chocolate mints after a meal, but announced that we couldn’t actually have any until after 8 PM. Any guest who thought she was kidding immediately found out that she wasn’t!

So we are continuing one of our traditions, that of inviting the Burtigny staff over into our garden once in the Spring and once in the Summer. That will happen tomorrow at 5, with the help of Phil & Amy, Steve & Marie, and Matt and Celia.

Many ask how I’m doing . . . the tears come at completely unexpected moments, but the grace is always there. Another of the plants in my garden is rue, which the English medieval church called “the herb of grace”. I offer a tiny bit to visitors, so they can know what grace tastes like . . . some, newer believers, expect it to be sweet. But the grace of rue has a very bitter taste . . .

Another image for the grace I’m living on is the water which runs from the spring up on the hill down to supply some of the YWAM buildings, including our apartment. It’s not visible, but it’s clear and cold and always dependable. Every time I need it, it’s there; and it sustains me.
The Lord is good . . . all the time.