About the Author

Aliza Latta is a Canadian writer, artist, and author, who is a huge fan of telling stories. Her artwork and writing has been featured in publications for LifeWay, Dayspring, and (in)courage. She is always searching for the goodness of God, even when she has to squint to see it.

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  1. Aliza, this is such a beautiful, poignant remembrance of your beautiful friend Tat. I can’t thank you enough for sharing. *You’ve* not forgotten her, and now you share her memory and legacy with others. Yes, people move on, it seems, and yet you are raising her lantern high, and straight to God–to the God who sees, who cares, who remembers. I love how J.M. Barrie said, “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” And God gave you lanterns so that you might have exquisite memories of your Tat whenever you see them lit and lifted high. It’s His way of neither forgetting her, nor you. What a loving, tender, comforting, personal God we serve–He knows that lanterns are *your* “love language,” and is using it eloquently in your life.

    I can’t help too but think of the breathtaking painting, “Light of the World,” by William Holman Hunt, one version of which (he painted several) hangs on a wall at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London. He depicts Christ, standing outside an oaken door, knocking. He, the Light of the World, holds a lighted lantern in one hand, and knocks on the door with the other. This scene depicts Rev. 3:20, where Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” It is my prayer, that when God “gives you lanterns,” of the precious friend whose company you have lost on this earth, you will invite Jesus in to dine with you. It is my prayer that the two of you will have an intimate talk about your dear friend, that you will be so very blessed and comforted in your remembrance of her.

    And I almost hesitate to share this, not meaning to draw attention to my own grief and past memories, but only with the best intention of pointing you and your readers yet again to heaven (you already know this and have said so here)… but the more I am reminded of heaven, the more I am blessed and encouraged. This is the last paragraph from a chapter in my book, where God comforts me with a “picture” of lanterns stretched across the heavens. I aborted my first child in my 20s, as a brand-new Christian. It is a deep pain I live with, yet which Christ mercifully has redeemed. I have no memories of this child, whom I named Shannon, and so I long for heaven, when she and I will create them together. But your mention of “lantern,” prompts this sharing: “Later in the evening, alone on the moonlit beach, I wrote a requiem to Shannon in my journal. Gazing at the stars, hanging like little lanterns strung across the ocean, I was struck by the truth that abortion has extinguished the light of millions of lives before they have had their chance to shine. Yet somehow, on this clear, crystal night, as I searched the heavens, I knew that Shannon and countless children were there with God, illuminating all eternity.” God has lifted Tat and Shannon’s lanterns high. They will never dim. Praise Him! And God bless and comfort you, dear Aliza.
    Love
    Lynn

    • Aliza,
      Our God is, indeed, the God who sees and the God who stays. I have learned that when everyone else has forgotten, or been distracted, or even deserts us, God is the One who remains. I love that He gives us tangible reminders of His abiding presence – lanterns, rainbows, for me everytime the gold finches come to my black eyed susans to eat seeds, they remind me that God is close at hand. I’ve learned to look for “God-winks” – little random signs that God is totally in control and oversees even the most minute details of His creation. May you be comforted that Tat is never forgotten by God and she is waiting to meet you with Christ when He comes to get His followers.
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

    • Lynn, your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your beautiful words. I Googled the painting you referenced — absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait for you to light lanterns with Shannon someday.

      • Tears, too. God bless and continue to comfort you dear one, a lantern at a time . . .
        L

  2. I am praying for you, Aliza. I am thankful for your memory of your friend Tat. Sometimes, we can feel so alone in our grief years later. Thank you for reminding all of us that God sees and loves each us. I am thankful for God understanding every tear and heartache. I thankful for reminders of those we have lost and who have been promoted to heaven. This devotional was needed by my soul. I have been reminded of friends that I lost one, two, five and 22 years ago. Different things reminded me of them. I miss them and their absence is noticiable. I never want to forget them. I am thankful for you Aliza. May God continue to cover and keep you today and always.

  3. I can’t envision what kind of lantern this would be. it sounds very meaningful and I’d like to know. Wonderful and meaningful story.

  4. How beautiful! Reading your story made me cry for all those lost to Covid-19 and all the family and friends left behind. It’s so comforting to know that our Lord mourns with us, holds us close and never forgets. Thank you for this timely reminder.

  5. We are never forgotten with God. We are loved by a big Father. Because we are his Children. He love us all too much too forget us. People Family and Friends might forget us let us down. Even hurt us. Make us cry. Feel does no matter. Why does no care. I been there with People Family and Friends. But the best Friend I have is Jesus. He will never never leave us nor forsake us. It reminds me of the song. “What a friend we have in Jesus” you get it on YouTube. The words so true. We do have a friend so faithful who will never leave us. It say take everything to Jesus in prayer in that song. I often wanted to cry when People Family and Friends forget about me. At times it make me say am I not good enough. What is wrong with me. Then I hear Jesus whisper no my Child don’t think that. Yes you are. I love you you are my Child and you are beautiful. All that matters is what I say. You have me as a Friend. Even if no one else wants you. You will always have me. Then I smile and say thank you Jesus. Say stop complaining as there are people out there a lot worse of than me. Who have no one. Who have just lost someone because of Covid 19. Or an illness. So it make me thankful to be alive and go into prayer. Love today’s reading. Xx

  6. I lost a friend to a car accident when I was in college. Fifteen years later in a share group–I can’t even remember what we were discussing–but I began to tell Shelly’s story, and tears came to my eyes. I wasn’t sure at the time what prompted such a strong response. This I know: the same God who gave us the capacity to love also gave us the capacity to grieve. Perhaps we need the latter in order to fully appreciate the former. And no doubt the euphoria of heaven will be enhanced when we realize all grief has been erased! “Only the soul that knows the mighty grief can know the mighty rapture”–Edwin Markham.

  7. Aliza,

    Bless you for keeping Tat’s memory alive. Friendships, love & grief are all intertwined. God loves us so much & only He can understand our grief. He knows the depths of sadness when we lose someone close. A friend of mine just buried her dad. He died in a logging accident suddenly. She posts pictures of him & her on Facebook. She does what she can to keep that memory alive. That same friend lost her first child to a miscarriage. It was a girl & butterflies were the “thing”. Now every time that family sees a butterfly they are reminded of that little one. God winks are all around us. We just need to take the time to notice. The mountains I live near, dear friends texting to check on me, sweet animals in my yard are all God winks. He notices each of us & gives us what we need to get through our days. Life moves on & so do people. God doesn’t forget. He is always right there beside us. He will never leave nor forsake us.

    Blessings 🙂

  8. Hello,
    Thank you for sharing this. It touches my heart and your words resonate with me. My 23 year old son died after a horrific motorcycle accident a little over 4 years ago. One of my biggest fears is that he will be forgotten, so I make a point of talking about him often. That has also allowed others to feel comfortable sharing openly without fear of it hurting or triggering us. Indeed, he is more alive today in the presence of Jesus than he was here on earth, and God has captured every tear that have and will shed until we are reunited one day. Those promise are helpful to soften the pain of this loss.

  9. Thank you Aliza Tat is so alive and keeping her memories is all we have. Love You.