Entrances and Exits

 

We celebrate entrances and exits from this world. Birth is recorded by date and time; death is recorded by date and time. What comes before or after is really unknown. I am relieved that I have no memories of actually being born; neither do I have memories earlier than about eighteen months.

I have not died, so I can only go by family passings, before their death. I can wonder what those weeks, days, hours, and minutes were like for them. Strokes and cancer have taken most family members from me. These passings were painful to watch and those dying told of their suffering; even when words could not express the physical and emotional pain, the tears leaking slowly from their eyes whether they were conscious or not, told the story.

Why are these entrances and exits so diligently marked and timed? Is it to mark only the time present in this world, on the Earth? There is no absolute of time on either side of life lived here. We do the best we can to honor the arrival and passing of living breath.

It just occurred to me that it is the breath of life we are monitoring and that alone. The first breath taken, and the last, both pivotal moments defining life itself.

Birth dates are accompanied by a mixture of happiness, joy, and impending gloom by some. As age increases the death date becomes much more imminent. Some focus on life’s passing; I tend to focus on life lived. Yes, I look in the mirror and do not see the me in my mind’s eye. I still think of my body looking much like it did in my early thirties; the true reflection says otherwise. I am me, no matter what my body reveals.

Lord, I thank You for the gift of life; I thank You for breathing life into me at birth. I will try not to think of You taking away my last breath. I want to think of You taking me gently in Your arms as I know in my soul You took my parents, my grandmother, and my sweet sister. The transition from this world to Your Kingdom is not for me to know or understand. What is mine to do, is to know You, love You, and share my belief, trust, and faith, in You, Dear Lord, as the One True Living God, the Heavenly Father who will come to take me home to be with Him, and to rejoin my loved ones there in Heaven. Both birth and death are celebrated here on Earth. But oh the celebration upon entering Heaven I can only imagine! Thank You, Father, for loving me, for breathing life into this body, for granting me so many beautiful experiences here, for teaching me through those experiences which have not been pretty, and for guiding me step-by-step back to You. Amen

 

 

Genesis 2:5-7  The Message
At the time God made Earth and Heaven, before any grasses or shrubs had sprouted from the ground—God hadn’t yet sent rain on Earth, nor was there anyone around to work the ground, the whole Earth was watered by underground springs—God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul!

 

Job 33:4  Living Bible 
For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

 

Romans 8:38-39  Living Bible 
For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

 

“Those who die, go no further from us than God…And God is very near.” Unknown

 

“God has not taken them from us. He has hidden them in his heart, that they may be closer to ours.” Unknown

 

“I believe there are two sides to the phenomenon known as death, this side where we live, and the other side where we shall continue to live. Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now.” Normal Vincent Peale

 

“Those who die, go no further from us than God … And God is very near.” Unknown

 

There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. William Barclay

 

 

The following song echoes my own imaginings.

 

I Can Only Imagine

MercyMe

Released‎: ‎2001

Songwriter: ‎Bart Millard

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When you face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
Surrounded by You glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
  

 

 

 

 

Relieved

 

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