Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sunday Thought: Over the Horizon

The ERJ family spent Thanksgiving day near Suttons Bay, Michigan.  Due to the weather, it was a five hour drive each way.  The kids were in the back of the minivan.  Mrs ERJ and I were up front.  We had some good conversations.

Mrs ERJ commented that she found herself misspeaking herself more often now than when she was a young sprout.  She would mean to say one thing but a different word would come out of her mouth.

I told her not to worry.  Self-reporting is notoriously unreliable.  It may be that she simply has greater self awareness.  I think that we more consciously listen to ourselves as we get older.

Then I told her about a sermon I heard at a funeral in the mid-1990s.

The Sermon


There are times when we watch a loved one die a millimeter at a time.  We see them slip away.  Sometimes it is cancer.  Sometimes it is Alzheimer's or MS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

As Christians, we are encouraged to remember that our body is a tent that temporarily shelters our soul.

The ship


Imagine that you are Mrs Christopher Columbus watching your husband sail away.  You stand at the quay.  You wave.  The ship gets smaller.  You can still hear your husband and see the details of his movement.

As the distance increases you hear less and less.  You cannot see all the finest detail of his movement.  You cannot see the movements of his eyebrows or fingers, yet you know he still has them.  You can hear shouting but can no longer discern normal conversation, yet you know he continues to speak and to listen.

The ship continues to move out over the ocean.  It gets harder and harder to pick your husband in the bustle on the deck.  In time you cannot see individual figures.  The ship gets smaller and smaller.  Finally, in one blink of the eye....you no longer see the ship.

Our Beloved Live


And yet we know that our beloved lives and believe, pray, that we will be rejoined with them.

Advance scouting party


I shared that story with Mrs ERJ.  Then I told her that when I forget what I am going to say or grossly misspeak myself, I like to think of it as evidence that another contingent of my brain rematerialized in Heaven as an advanced scouting party.  The picture in my head is the Startrek teleporter where the body dematerializes from the sending location as it reassembles at the destination. It is simply taking me longer than it does in the movies.

Mrs ERJ enjoyed the idea.  The only downside is that it became a bit of a family joke.  Whenever I make a boo-boo I am likely to hear, "A few more brain cells just showed up in heaven..."

Still, it is a very comforting image.

Blessings to all.

-Joe

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