Many years ago, I traveled to Green Valley, Arizona to visit my Aunt Dolores who was slowly passing away from cancer. My Uncle Hank had asked me to visit her as he felt that she would pass soon. In the past few months, a lot had happened: she had lost weight, was not eating well, was more dependent on home care folks…even needed help getting in and out of bed.
When I arrived, Dolores was not going to get out of bed anymore. The fact was, she could not. She appeared frail and pale. But when I walked into the room she perked up, her eyes sparkly, and lips smiling.
I began by saying how I was sorry for her condition…but she stopped me right away. And invited me to lay down next to her…which I did.
“You know,” she said, “I am not feeling bad about all this.” And she whispered so Hank would not hear, “I am not afraid, I am ready to leave.” Then she poked me and asked me how I was feeling.
I laughed and said, “I am ok.” She said, “I am as well. Let’s talk about death.” Well, we did. We had a good conversation about how death was not threatening…it was just part of life. That we have the freedom to address our passing with a good attitude or not. We were gifted the joy of knowing we would soon meet our Lord. After all, our hope, our strength, our blessings, come from our Lord.
After a few minutes, we both fell asleep! When I awoke, I quietly thanked her and kissed her forehead. She opened her eyes, smiled, and squeezed my hand. She did not speak but closed her eyes again.
And I had a better understanding of what it means for our souls to be renewed. What it means to awake to the light of Christ.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve