As time passes, with the years marked longer by gray hair than not, I can anticipate funerals and saying goodbye, even my own. This week I have been forced to revisit this part of my life due to two events. The second occurred early Sunday morning as a hurricane roared through an area where I used to work. The first happened almost fifteen years ago, in the same place and time of the year. As sad as the two events were and are, I find myself in a quiet space full of hope, commitment, and resolve.
Hurricane Jeanie ripped half of the roof off Martin County Hospital. Jeanie’s fury was something new for Stuart’s residents. The devastation, shredded memories, and torn lives will heal with time, yet the healing will never restore things to the way they were. I am confident Steve, Carla, Grace, Mary, Cindy and others are getting on with the rebuilding, but life has changed.
Fifteen years ago I sat with a friend, someone I shared a responsibility for, and held her hands and prayed. Her husband had a heart attack while driving while someone had been able to call for help immediately the prognosis wasn’t especially good. There was no family close other than myself. I had no idea what to say or do, except to be there, present in the moment, taking and retaking this young women to the Divine Comforter. Our wait went pass the first hour mark and on towards the next half. I wondered how much a soul could stand. When I saw the Doctor’s face I knew we had been looking death in the eye and for now death had won.
I knew then and I know now there is an option. Jesus’ words continue to ring true; “I say this with absolute confidence. If you practice what I'm telling you, you'll never have to look death in the face.” (John 8.51)
Today I want to see and experience life, real, full and abundant. With God death isn’t a winner, just a distraction for a short while.
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