Sacred Moment

sacred momentI had the privelege and honor to pray for a woman just before she died yesterday.  It was a beautiful, sacred time!

We often think of sacred moments as birth, salvation, baptism, membership, wedding and births; but our culture chooses to not think about the fact of our imminent demise as something beautiful anymore.  In fact, most of our culture has almost no connection with it at all.  That’s what happens to people in hospitals and nursing homes with “professionals” around them.  No longer is it even considered something that children should witness, let alone have a visceral understanding of.  I am told that children aren’t able to deal with it, but what I have found is that if they don’t have to deal with it as a child, they don’t see it as normal, and are unable (or unwilling) to deal with it in a healthy manner as adults.  100% seems like normal to me.

Death happens.  Life’s breath slips slowly, yet suddenly away.

In the midst of reflecting on this (now normal for me) event, a saleswoman commented how sad that must have been.  My response was that death is never sad – a life lived well leads to a victorious death, a life lived poorly is sad – death is just the statement that you have finished the race.  How we run that race is what is happy or sad.

There is something sacred about a child’s birth.  Awe-inspiring, moving and meaningful.  The breath of life enters their nostrils, and we are introduced to this person that we love already – before we know them.

There is something sacred about a person’s death too.  Awe-inspiring, moving and meaningful.  The breath of life leaves their body, and we love the person that we have known.

Don’t rob yourself of the sacred moment of a loved one’s passing.  Embrace them through the entirety of life; as you have embraced the race, embrace the finish line!

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” – St. Paul  (2 Timothy 4:6-8, NIV)

How to Walk on Water

Boat on the Sea of Galilee in 1898. Descriptio...

Boat on the Sea of Galilee in 1898. Description given at the source: “(…) photograph of Boat on the Sea of Galilee. It was created in 1898.” (text from same source) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other than the obvious “Wait until the pond freezes over” response, the great truth here is that you can’t…unless God tells you to.

You remember the story, Peter and the other disciples are in a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when over the top of the windswept waves, Jesus walks.  Thinking it’s a ghost, the disciples become frightened.  When Jesus reveals that it is him, Peter asks Jesus to call him to himself…on the water.  Jesus does, and all 12 disciples obey.

That’s right, all 12 obey.  Peter obeys by getting out of the boat and walking on water, and the other 11 obey by staying in the boat.

There are so many application points, but let me make a few (you can add yours in the comments section):

1. You don’t lack faith just because you refuse to do unreasonable things…unless God Himself has told you to, not someone else telling you to.

2. You don’t lack faith just because you don’t do what another saint is doing.  The eye cannot tell the hand it is useless just because it can’t see, etc.

3. God provides.  Sometimes it’s in the shape of a boat.  Sometimes it’s in the shape of a miracle.  Pray for the miracle.  Plan on the boat.

4. Rowing takes discipline.  Some disciples prefer quicker, easier and more exciting methods.  What is an undisciplined disciple anyways?

5. Ask God, wait, listen and then get out of the boat…if He told you to (not just a burrito from last night).