Friday, November 21, 2014

Due date

My pastor (read: husband) has been preaching about being prepared lately. We've worked through the parable of the 10 virgins and the parable of the talents, both in Matthew 25. We're nearing the season of Advent, a time of joyful anticipation, so these lessons are timely.  

It reminds me of this time last year. As my due date approached I was preparing by organizing, cooking, cleaning, and washing. I was setting up babysitters and emailing teachers. This preparation made me feel like I had things under control, at least as much as one can when welcoming a new baby.

I was so wrapped up in the details of running the home and caring for my people that I nearly forgot to enjoy the last days of my pregnancy. It was kind of a blur of activity and excitement, and if I'm being really honest, relief at not having to be pregnant anymore. 

It makes me wonder: If tomorrow I was given 3 months to live, how would I prepare? 

This scenario has presented itself to a beloved member of our congregation. I am angry. I am stunned. I am deeply, deeply sad. I am prayerful, not for miraculous healing, but for more time and peace and no pain. 

What if we embraced death with the same expectancy as new birth?  As Christians, aren't we supposed to believe death is new life? Different life, but new life.  

I don't pretend to know how hard it would be to face this. But I know I wouldn't face it alone. Would I waste precious time feeling sad and sorry for myself and my family?  Probably. Would I spend some of my days angry at God?  Absolutely. Would I worry my remaining hours away?  Maybe. Those feelings are all allowed. But I know that at some point I'd go into planning mode.  

What do I want to see? Taste? Feel? With whom? I hope that once I answered those questions my people would surround me with grace and love and help me live out my final wishes. I hope that I could craft some really spectacular days, surrounded by the people, food, and places I love. I hope that I could stare death in the face and embrace the transition, because I did, saw, and said everything I wanted to see, say, and do.  

And when I take my final breaths, I hope I'd feel the same relief and excitement as I did on my due date.  Relief that my body was about to rest and heal. Excitement about meeting someone who up until now has been a mystery. 

If you had 3 months left to live, how would you spend your time?  



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