Monday, March 14, 2011

Old and Full of Days

I am sitting here this afternoon next to the bedside of my almost-90 year old father who is deeply asleep, coming to the surface every few minutes to mumble something unintelligible, whispered almost as a prayer, but not to me.  For the past two weeks, I have expected his next breath to be his last.  And in classic form, it appears the last to go will be his famous German stubbornness.

To some, he was a man of character, to others just a character.  He is stubborn and ornery and imperfect and, as he lays here, a picture of redemption.  Because in him and his roughness around the edges, I see my own need for grace.  When it all comes down to it, we all show up at heaven’s gate with nothing to show for ourselves.  Nothing matters but our relationship with Christ, not even what we “did for God.”  We are empty handed, undeserving, and stand in awe and shame for how much God loves us.  We will all stand here one day and face eternity.

And what is this journey, my Dad’s slow creeping towards the other side of life, but to be released from the groaning of a prison cell, a fallen world, and emerge into a world where everything is what it ought to be.  What is broken is restored without seams, all things new.  From solid concrete block walls, grey and cold, to a vista beyond our imagination, so bold that the trees and mountains burst into song and laughter.  Former things now dissolve and can no longer be remembered, except for what is eternal like a baby’s chuckle and truth not surrendered.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror,

then we shall see face to face.

Now I know in part;

then I shall know fully,

even as I am fully known.

                 1 Corinthians 13.12

1 comment:

jamie said...

thinking about you karen!