Journal Entry for Wednesday 10th December 2014:
I woke this morning to the news I thought I might hear this morning. There was a phone call in the night, which we did not reach in time before it rang off.
The first I saw was the email from my dear colleague and friend Dan. Simply stated, Dorothy Miller is with Jesus.
I have been stunned since I woke and sit here now in my morning watch amazed at the life of my friend and possibly my greatest personal mentor.
She would tell us that she is not gone. How many times did we hear the rebuke this summer for discussing the ones promoted to glory as if they were not still living! We must not speak about her as though she were no more, or as if she has ceased to exist.
She not only lives in our memories and in the acute focus we all have right now of our last email, phone conversation or interaction with her in person, but she now lives life – free from that old, limiting frame – on a higher plane and at a more real level than she ever knew.
Tonight we will all go to bed. Dorothy will not. She will pull yet another “all nighter”, but this time she will do it and it will cost her nothing physically.
Dorothy is a little girl again – was she ever not so on the inside? – giddy with excitement, now looking at the face of Jesus and discovering all the amazing delights, by the second, that she could only imagine of Heaven … and much more.
She is free of not only her physical body, which she told me this summer was hard to live with “when I used to be so athletic”. She is free from the cares and responsibilities and burden that she bore for so many, for all of us.
Attentive to the detail, persistent to the nth degree, caring with intricacy beyond what any of us could only dream to attain. A woman whose drive and commitment to loving an ever increasing family of us, across the nations, was only exceeded by her passion for us to be like Jesus and to be multipliers and magnifiers of His glory in the nations.
My friend is gone from here, and is in another place. I weep and miss her terribly. She is a friend to so many, and her dear family and dear Tom will miss her so.
I was going to say that a General had passed, but she was more than that. In the British Armed Forces we have the ranks of Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Air Forces.
To those of us still remaining in this ground warfare, she has been a Field Marshal, ably, energetically and skilfully commanding forces around the world in an explosion of grace-filled troops spreading the love of Jesus abroad into many lands through STS and to places where she could not go in person, but often visited on her knees and in her heart and vicariously through those of us who have gone out.
She was also Admiral of the Fleet, where the firm ground ran out, and many of us, beyond Mercy Ships, felt the steady hand of her wise guidance and counsel as we sought to navigate stormy seas and believe that there would again be a visible horizon on the other side.
And, as Marshal of the Air Force, who will not admit that we sent her our most urgent and most personal prayer requests, because we knew she would be awake and would pray.
Those one line, sometimes mis-spelled or unintelligible emailed replies would come in and we would know Dorothy was “on it”. Our friend was talking to the Commander-in-Chief and we were covered in the air as we fought our battles in the sure hope of victory.
I sent her such a prayer request this past weekend, when our car died after I got home from Central Asia. The way that God answered her prayers, which I reflected back to her in a brief testimony, she told me, brought tears to her eyes.
Our tender “Mum”, whether we called her that to her face or not, is no longer able to give us that physical embrace to which we have grown accustomed, but her reach into our lives will continue as we hear her voice and exhortations, feel her rebuke and as a result we strive to change, to take it up a notch or two.
We miss you, Mum. You loved us well, more intentionally and deeply than we understood at times, because you cared for us beyond your own comfort, beyond your own need to be understood by us, and beyond what we deserved.
Apart from your loving Lord and His surpassing work for us, there is no way to explain what you did for us, repeatedly, often, and with such critically sacrificial investment.
You loved us like Jesus. Firm, selflessly, genuine, deeply, tenderly.
There is no higher thing I could say than that you loved like Jesus. We miss you, but we will see you again and we long for that day, dear friend.
May we only be found to run as well as you did!