You Are Mine…

Virginia's Positive Hits 89.9 & 90.5 PER's photo
Virginia’s Positive Hits 89.9 & 90.5 PER’s photo
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Do You Know What Today Is?

“Do you know what today is?”

This was the question that Mom asked me yesterday when I went to visit.  Yesterday was November 11th … generally known in the United States as Veteran’s Day, a day for honoring those who have served in the military forces in our country … and Mom could have been thinking of the fact that both my Dad and I were veterans … but she wasn’t.

In my family, November 11th has another significance…

I had heard the story many times … of how on a particular Friday afternoon Mom and Dad had each quickly left work and hurried home, had gathered together the newly and lovingly hand made infant clothes, and then together with their young son, had driven to the county’s Children’s Home … so that they might receive the infant who would become the fourth member of their family … their new infant daughter … and how, after receiving their daughter, on that day and days afterwards, they had introduced her to an extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins … and to their church family as well.

This was what Mom was referring to as she asked me if I knew what the day was …

And how could I possibly forget the day’s significance?

For this day, so many years ago on November 11th, was the day that I received the greatest gift anyone could receive…

It was the day that God gave me my family.

The Gift of Presence…

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”        ~Mark 14:32-34

Some thoughts:

1. Jesus knew he was about to die…

2. Jesus asked his closest companions to “keep watch with [him]”…

a. Jesus was not asking them to be his bodyguards, to protect him…

b. He did not want them to watch so they could warn him to make an escape…

c. It seems Jesus only wanted his companions to be “present” with him…

What did their “presence” give to Jesus?  Why did he want or need it?  Perhaps an aspect of his humanity is showing itself as he faces the death he knows is coming…

What does our “presence” give to those with whom we wait and watch?

A seventeen year old, wanting his mother’s “presence” as the time of his death approaches says, “Mom, I know I’m dying.  Just wait with me.”   And then over the next few days, he gradually slips into a coma…  but there are family members and friends near… waiting.

How many others want the presence of someone else with them as their time of death draws near?  What does the presence of other people bring or give to those who know they are dying?  And how hard it must be to be that other person, that witness, who can do nothing to stop the inevitable…  Who can only wait and watch, with no power to change the coming events.

Why is this important for the one dying?  Maybe because the one dying knows that he or she does not face death alone if someone else is waiting and watching with them… The dying walk through death’s door, letting go of one hand to reach out and grasp another…  Love takes them to the door, gives them strength as they pass through it, and meets them again on the other side…

The night before he dies, the seventeen year old briefly wakes from his coma…  Family and friends are gathered around.  Perhaps for him it is one last time that he can look on those he loves and see that they love him.  He slips back into his coma, continuing his journey…  knowing he is not alone.

His younger sister is asked if she wants to sleep in his room, with him, that night.  She says yes, and so a cot is set up.  That night, as she sleeps, she is given the privilege of being the one who is “present” with her brother…  But she does not know this…  She only knows that she is receiving the gift of his presence with her, a presence that she knows she is losing to death…