Monday, September 25, 2006

2 Corinthians 5:8

I watched a man die yesterday.

I know some of you think that’s probably a crappy, dramatic way to start this, but it’s true. I accompanied my best friend yesterday to the hospital, and watched his father die.

He (the father) had Lou Gehrig’s disease. I have included a web link so you can find out for yourself, if you like. (http://www.alsa.org/als/what.cfm?CFID=2758565&CFTOKEN=4355432 ). He was bedridden for the last couple of years and couldn’t even talk. He communicated through blinking and eye movement.

Sunday, they took him off the ventilator. There I was, with my friend, as he watched them disconnect his father from the life support. It was the only way he was still alive. But he was conscious and alert to what was going on.

He wanted to go. He had communicated that to his son. He wanted to go. He didn’t want to live like that, and he had made it known, even before he was bedridden.

There was his family, and me. I felt like an intruder; like the odd man out. But no one made me feel out of place. I was there for my best friend, and that was enough for them. His Mom was taken care of by everyone else; they left me to support my friend.

I held him as he held his father. I comforted him as he spent his last, fleeting moments with the man who had raised him. And then, God walked into the room.

How do I know? I saw it in his dad’s eyes.

He smiled.

I don’t mean a smile like you have to sort of hold your head in the light and look at it a certain way smile. I mean a beatific, wonderful cheek to cheek smile that filled the whole room. It was a smile that warms you right down to your marrow.

And at that point, I knew Jesus was there, welcoming him into the fold. He didn’t go terrified, with a panicked look on his face; he slid gracefully into death, escorted by the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

2 Corinthians 5:8- “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

I’m crying now. Not because I’m sad, but because I’m hopeful.

I can’t wait until those gathered around me see the smile on my face as I am escorted into the presence of the Lord. As He takes me into the throne room I have heard so much about, and been comforted from so many times, and introduces me personally to His Dad.

I can’t wait until I too, stand face to face with the Person who didn’t make me feel like an intruder. He didn’t want me to be the odd man out. He wanted me to feel like family.

So He let His Son leave His home, and come here to be with me. He dropped everything, and everyone, and said, “It is okay, go take care of him. Be his friend, so he doesn’t have to go through this alone.”

We are NOT alone.

And we don’t have to be scared of dying. We have a path that has been set forth before us; a beautiful path; a path lined with gold. A path that leads us straight to Heaven.

We sometimes forget that death is NOT the end. It’s the beginning of a GREAT eternity.

Hey Satan, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Be blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.

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