"What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable..."
~ I Corinthians 15: 36b, 37, 42
"Love You Forever" is a wonderful children's book about the life of a son and his mother. The book begins with the mother rocking her newborn baby, sharing, "I love you forever, I like you always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
The boy goes through various stages, and even into manhood. The mother drives across town, climbs a ladder into her son's bedroom, picks him up and rocks him back and forth and shares the words again.
Spoiler alert... at the end of the book, when the mother get's too old to rock her grown son, he then picks her up, rocks her back and forth and tells his dying mother, "I love you forever, I like you always, as long as I'm living, my mommy you'll be."
It's about life. As we age we all realize that one day we will no longer be the ones rocking, and will need to be picked up and reminded of who we are, and be reassured.
Yesterday I watched as a daughter rubbed the hands of her father as he was slipping into the hands of God and shared stories of her life growing up with him, and how much she loved him. The reassuring touch, the stories of love, reminded me of the boy rocking his mother when she was no longer able.
When I mentioned the story to her, she broke out crying, sharing that the book was one that she read to her children, and she suddenly realized that she was the boy in the book.
When we are born we begin a journey from life in the womb to life in a family. When we go off to school, we move from a life in the family to life in a larger community filled with others. Even getting married takes us from one life into another. At some point we may retire, making another passage from a life of a clearly defined path of life, to a life asking for new creativity and wisdom.
What we often don't realize that each new beginning involves the death of an old life. When we encounter these passages, or new chapters well, we are becoming more prepared for that final passage.
Our life is full of moments that remind us that our life lived in purpose will give birth to many things. It may not necessarily be our own children, but our ideas, our hopes, and our own dreams will be the things that remain when we take our last breath.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, help me to make this day the beginning of a new journey filled with Your purposes. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.