Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Curious Work

It is a curious work that God does to prepare us for the adversities and lessons yet to come.  One curious work builds upon the last.

In the moments when you stand apart from whatever is happening and view it from a perspective of eternal collections, it is really something to ponder.

Lately, God has been weaving death in and out of our day.  This is not to say that anyone is dying, but when you spend an entire year in the grips of uncertainty, pressure building in the heart of your children, problems with diffusing oxygen and other malfunctions, the thought crosses your mind a time or two.

Even looking back on my life, it's as if the major theme God set on my path was learning about death.  I have said goodbye to more dear friends than I can count.  Many of those friends, I had the privilege of staying with up until the moment they passed into the great beyond.  One such friend was Dana.  I have written about her more than once.  She was my best friend and passed away when I was just 18, of Cystic Fibrosis.  Is there any question that staying with her for months and years on end in the hospital was a gift from Heaven?  No.  I learned so much about fibrosis of the lungs long before I was thinking about marriage or kids.  Long before I had to draw upon that knowledge for my own kids.  Hospitals became a comfortable place of laughter and connection because Dana made it that way.  It was a moment of preparation for what life brought with the arrival of my kids.

Recently, I have felt her presence more and more in my life as I am left to figure out our own lung problems.

More recently, Spencer retold a story to us about something that happened to him.  Out of the blue, a man at work called him into his office to tell him about his grandson.  The story was completely irrelevant to anything going on that week.  The man has a 12 year old grandson with an inoperable brain tumor.  The doctors have done all they can.  They set up hospice for the boy and sent him home.  Over a couple of days, the boy expressed his fear of dying and asked what would happen to his body when he died.

The parents arranged to take the boy on a field trip to the mortuary, at the boy's request.  He was shown the embalming process.  He was able to choose his casket.  Visit the cemetery and select his plot.  All the mystery was shown him and he was at peace.  He bore a sweet testimony to his parents about his love and trust in God.

That's it.  That was the story.  There was no back story, the boy is still alive.  That was all the man wanted to tell Spencer.  As Spencer relayed the story to us, we were moved to tears and touched by such courage and conviction.  That little boy's story will someday be a story that will get us through some tough days.

Today, Shelbie was selected to be a photographer for the non-profit company, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  Photographers are selected by their local hospitals to be on call for when infants are still born or pass away shortly after birth.  She has always wanted to do this.  In fact, this was her main goal when she became a photographer.   Now that it is becoming a reality, she is very scared to do her first shoot.

I think it will be the most incredible experience.  I have been in the room for a stillborn birth and it was by far, the most sacred experience I have witnessed.  I am excited for her to stand at the threshold of the veil, between this life and the next and feel the presence of Holy Angels and even Jesus Christ...carrying that baby spirit back home.

I hope I never forget these little lessons from Heaven.  God does give good gifts.  I know that I don't always receive the gifts with joy and celebration but I can see the worth in their weight.  There is no better way to learn these things.

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