June 08, 2010

Walking at 81

Learning to walk at 81 is no fun. After you learned to walk at age 1 you think that lesson is far behind you. But my father-in-law, Bill is learning to walk for the second time. 

Without the ability to swallow, his meals consist of chalky protein drink pumped directly into his stomach. Without the ability to speak, his words consist of grunts and unintelligible vowel sounds. 

The heart is more or less repaired but the brain must be retrained after the major stroke struck out a large part of the processing power. 

I have never been more aware of Jesus' words when he said, "The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don't want to go." John 21:18. 

Is that an infant or an old man that is being spoken of? It could be either, couldn't it? And thus the "circle of life", the grand return to the grand entrance which in reality is also the grand exit; the child who became a parent who ends up being cared for like a child by his child. This is the reality of life. 

Yet in the midst of the misery there is an insuppressible joy to be found. As an infant it's nothing but a blank sheet of life ahead. As an elder, the paper is filled with the joys you have created. The daughter holding your hand, the granddaughter kissing your forehead, your favorite pictures of friends and accomplishments hanging on the walls, the memories of songs, travels, and loves filling your mind.    

If you have lived well, you can smile from memories, as you learn to walk again. 
If you are living well, you can smile at the blank page of eternity which also looms ahead. 

June 04, 2010

Exploring The Cave With A Match

Ever feel like you are trying to explore a cave with only a match for a light? 

At times life feels like that to me. Once in awhile the darkness is stifling. 
Your questions gang up on you like storm clouds obscuring the sliver of moon. 
Why now? Why them? Why this? Why his pain? 
The bronze and health-filled teen who killed the young girl in Aruba flits around the world waiting for justice to catch up. The 20 year old servant-leader, scholar, nice Christian guy, dies of brain cancer yesterday. 

My mom fighting cancer, my dad-in-law stroked out without speech or even swallowing, my friends mom withers to her death of Alzheimer's. "It's just our season," other boomers tell me. True, but incomplete. It's more than our season, it's our world. Our sad and darkened world that is groaning as it awaits the return of the one who called himself, "The Light". (Romans 8)

However, we must remember in the darkness, in the mystery, in the night, that outside this cave called "LIFE"...there is a brilliant sun that is shining. The small match we hold onto can light a candle and the darkness can never extinguish the candle...and soon we will step into the LIGHT where our candle will be consumed by the SON. 

Meanwhile, I am going to shine. By His Spirit I am going to shine...that is my determination. 
Adlai Stevenson (1900-65), praising Eleanor Roosevelt in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in 1962 said - 'She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.' 

I want my GLOW to warm the world and the world to see HIS light!