This Christmas tree pictured on the left was my sister Lore's absolute favorite decoration during the holidays for her home in Murray, KY. For the last decade 24/7, the lights on that tree have remained lit in my house as a symbol of her since her unexpected passing on this date in 2004. When I look at the tree, I see Lore, and it still remains the first thing I notice each time I walk into my house, especially at night.

Losing Lore was unexpected, although she had suffered physically for many years. I often spoke with her about the woman in Mark 5 who was in a similar position. I sent her the 9th chaper in the Pursuit of God by Tozier when she was around 35. It's titled Meekness and Rest and is one of the most powerful chapters written in any book outside of scripture to me. To see her embrace her faith and her own beauty at even deeper levels after reading that was stunning.

Lore's faith was as real as anyone that I had known. The two ministers who spoke at her funeral each prayed for the faith she displayed in her life and suffering. 

Even to this day I continually think of her when I try to imagine what it's like to be away from the body and with our Lord spoken of by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5. Knowing whom she is with is how that imagination transcends doubt into hopeful anticipation. Through Lore to Christ is how my mind is often comforted or stabilized on any given day.

She was 43 with the heart and imagination of a child we're called through to Christ. The fountain of her youth never stop flowing by tears and laughter, repentance and forgiveness.

She is still the woman in the mirror when I am unable to find the man in the mirror who has the son in him.

The intimacy I shared with my sister was unparalleled in unconditional love and tenderness. Nothing had to be hidden. Laughter was a part of joy and sorrow that kept a vital balance internally and eternally for her and me, even if temporarily lost by feelings or circumstances.To display this intimacy, I share with you the letter on the left that she wrote that year, exactly 2 months prior.