My sister-in-law, Susan is a strong and courageous woman of faith. She read this and asked me to post it in the hopes that it might encourage, comfort, or inspire others. We know that many are walking hard roads with challenges we can’t imagine.
It’s a glorious summer morning as I sit on my brother’s front porch in a wicker rocker. Birds are chattering about new-day things. A bunny is nibbling breakfast in the front yard near the hydrangea and today’s paper waits in the driveway to be picked up. A jogger and a dog-walker pass by.
As a friend says, “This is the Lifiest time of year.”
People open junk mail, play a set of tennis, watch a friend’s wedding video on Facebook, water gardens, laugh at jokes, cut the lawn.
Inside the house my brother dances back and forth with one foot in heaven and one still on earth.
This feels surreal. It can’t be happening. Life and death, and life and Life.
Things beginning, things ending. Things growing, things dying.
I stare at the pictures rotating through my screen-saver. Photos of us in foreign countries – with kids thirsty for clean water in Africa, with survivors of a tsunami in Sri Lanka, with Palestinians in a refugee camp longing for home – the World outside our world.
Every day, people trying to choose Life.
This is a week when, in some ways life is on hold and we’re just waiting; day to day, minute to minute.
We’re simultaneously holding our breath and trying to breathe.
But in other ways everything is so…normal. We do all the regular stuff and wonder, “How? How can we do life while David seems to be moving towards death?”
I wake up off and on throughout the nights and pray, “God help. Hold. Heal.”
We say “Prayer changes things”, but what we really hope is that prayer will just change “THINGS” and not change US.
This time God seems to want to change us – to make us “Lifier” people with an ear to heaven and an eye on eternity.
When I was in college in Texas in the late 70’s (yes, that long ago…Who’d believe it??), my people were the fun ones who volunteered with me in Young Life leadership. Think skits and raw egg swallowing contests and summer camp and hanging out with students in the high school cafeteria. Silly and ordinary, insecure and overly confident by turns, leaning into everyday grace.
We wore our overalls and said “NBD”, and “What the fat?” and a phrase I’ve been thinking about lately…
“But… HOW ETERNAL IS IT??!!!” we would often say loudly and with a grin.
What are we doing that will really matter forever? What soul work are we doing that will last?
What if we lived on earth as we plan to live in heaven?
So we gather and continue to choose Life in hard and holy ways.
We do the sacred work of holding ice chips to parched lips, and massaging limbs, reading Scripture and praying.
Friends gather around the bed, sharing stories of eternity.
One who was a troubled teen,
a Navajo in ministry to Native Americans,
a former prisoner,
6th and 7th grade boys …
All who know Jesus better because they knew David.
Sacred moments of laughter, tears, and stories of a fruitful life well-lived.
Yes, we have our ears to heaven and our eyes on eternity.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18