Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
~ Luke 23:42-43
I will admit that so much of what I face each day is about death and dying, but then I meet someone who reminds me that death is not a final outcome. It is merely the journey.
Yesterday I spent time with a woman who holds her faith in every aspect of her life. She smiled as she shared, "Every morning I'm thankful for my life, but at this point in my illness, each day I remind myself that this could be the day that I get to realize paradise."
In my mind I was taken back to a day centuries ago when a man hung next to Christ, dying, and experiencing his final hours. In the midst of his dying, Christ turns to the man and says, "Today you will be with me in paradise."
These were words that brought comfort, just as they were bringing comfort to the woman who was laying in bed, and reminding me that our journey has a destination.
The promise of paradise was so important that the words were written down for future generations to read and to believe. I love how scripture reminds us even today of God's amazing love for us, even as we struggle through our final hours.
The woman looked at her two children during our conversation and said, "And one day, we will all be in paradise together."
As I got ready to leave she thanked me for stopping and visiting, and as she hugged me, she whispered, "And paradise will be ready for you as well." She winked as I pulled away to leave, and just smiled. It made me realize the power of the promise, and just how thankful I am for these words for each of us!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.