I wrote some thoughts on death a few weeks ago, and I wanted this to go hand-in-hand with that post.
We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as microscopic swarm, the lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks late, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us. -from All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I love this description of the beginning of life. Job knew all about life and death. Oh to be like Job; to learn how to accept when the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like “if.”
But we are always optimists when it comes to time: we think there will be time to do things with other people. And time to say things to them.
We fear it (death), yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.” – from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
That last quote about fearing that death will take someone else is so true. I know I will die one day, and I don’t want it to be anytime soon. But, I also don’t like the thought of outliving all my loved ones. I have watched my mother lately as she has lost several longtime friends. I guess when you get to be 80 that is bound to happen. But, it still doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, it probably makes you think about death just a little too much.
John (the author’s husband) shrugs his shoulders… “Farmers, we think we control so much, do so much right to make a crop…You control so little. Really. It’s God who decides it all. Not us. It’s all good.” – from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
“It is our way of looking at life, our interpretation of the universe, our orientation to reality. “ – from Christian Worldview – A Student’s Guide by Philip Graham Ryken
Whenever we bump into the world, our worldview has a way of spilling out. It comes out in what we think and love, say and do, praise and choose. – from Christian Worldview – A Student’s Guide by Philip Graham Ryken
Read that again and let it sink in. … what we think and love….praise and choose… . Much of what I think no one will ever know. But I will, and I must live with it. What I love? I’m afraid what I really love shows in what I write about and talk about. My love for Christ often fades into the background, and that is truly telling. And shaming. My worldview shows in what I choose to do with my time.
I’m beginning to think my worldview needs a little adjustment.
Today is my husband’s 60th birthday; the 39th we’ve spent together. I saved this poem for today.
The prompt for PAD Day 26 (April 26th/2016) was love or anti-love. I went with love. That day I spent a lot of time cleaning my back porch while listening to a country music station. It was clearly an influence – lol.
The Lemon to My Lime
You are the lemon to my lime A delicious tangy treat Memories of past springtimes Dawn to dark both tart and sweet
You are the coffee to my cream So hearty, rich and warm You rise up in the steam Protecting me from harm
You are the ceiling to my floor There to keep me grounded More than I could ever ask for With your love I’m surrounded
You are the window to my door Fresh eyes upon the world You show me love and so much more New wonders are unfurled
You are the yellow to my blue Together we grow as green So many colors we’ve been through The lovely shades and hues we’ve seen
You are the country to my blues Sentimental and woebegone You make me laugh and you amuse You help me always to hold on
…those six days which were to have run out so slowly, had run out fast and were gone, and tomorrow looked me in the face more steadily than I could look at it. (Pip) – Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Life seems like this so often – the days run out fast and are gone. People are always saying “I can’t believe it’s fall.. almost Christmas… a new year already… spring again… another birthday… school is out… time for school to start…”
Some days we want to run out so slowly. Like the days spent with grandkids, or the afternoons on the beach, or the long awaited vacation. Is there a way to slow them down? Not literally, of course, only God controls that. But, maybe they would last longer if we savored them the way we savor a lollipop or peppermint stick. If we truly tasted the good.
Then there is tomorrow. Looking us steadily in the face as we try not to look back. The way my dog looks at me while I’m eating supper. I try not to look at her. But, it never makes her go away. She might lie down at my feet for a while, but she’s still there. So it is with time.
“Christianity is more than a moral code, more than a philosophy, more than a system of rites… It is more than a belief; it is a life.” – Thomas Merton
The prompt for PAD on April fourteenth was “Time out”. This is what came to mind…
Time Out If I am being told to Take time out to smell the roses Then more than likely I need to take more time And take more than a whiff Perhaps I need to remember Who Put the roses there And not just who planted them But Who created roses And tulips and clouds And me Maybe I need to Take time out To say a prayer of thanksgiving And to give someone a rose Or a hug or a meal Maybe I need to Take a time out From myself
Different authors write in disparate ways, and I don’t think a good author would tell you to do it exactly like they do. Many write in the morning, so some of the following advice may be something you might want to try if you are a morning person.
Hemingway: “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
Ray Bradbury: “My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don’t schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this.”
Stephen King: ““There are certain things I do if I sit down to write,” he said. “I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning,” he explained. “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”
C.S. Lewis: “ I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one.”
…God speaks through His Word and says, ‘I will remember your sins no more.’ He does not say, ‘You will remember your sins no more.’ Only God can forgive and forget. Some things we’ve done will be in our memories as long as we live. The message of the gospel is not the erasure of memory, but rather the healing of our memories. – Steve Harper
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could forget? I would love to forget some of the memories that swim around in my mind and pop to the surface again when I think I’ve drowned them out.
Healing isn’t easy. There is no pill or supplement that erases memories. Only in science fiction, or in cases of amnesia, Alzheimer’s or dementia can a memory be truly lost. Since none of those choices are appealing to me, I need to figure out just how memories are healed but not eliminated. I need to be like the Bereans.
“…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” – Acts 17:11