Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you are a shield around me, O, Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
~ Psalm 3:2
There is something very healing when spending time with someone who is dying and they are able to share that they are, "at peace."
Being able to tell someone that they don't "have to" have everything worked out by the time that they die also opens the door for forgiveness to enter. What I have discovered along the way is that any one of us can be compassionate, as we point the way to the possibility of forgiveness, allowing the person to free themselves from the chains of their own restrictive shame, while restoring hope and receiving love.
Sometimes I meet people who have created a "Bucket List," of the things that they hope to complete before their life ends. I will never forget meeting a person who literally had a list taped to his wall next to his bed. As we began to talk he kept pointing to this list. The list for him had become more than just a vision. The list had also become a source of pain, as he looked at the things he "had not," completed versus what "he had" experienced. Disappointment had overwhelmed the things he had managed to check off the list. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common response among those who have created lists like these when they have learned that their life is limited in some way. "I guess I never will," has in some way become the person's mantra.
Probably the greatest thing that any of us can accomplish in our life is knowing that we have unconditionally loved and been unconditionally loved in return. Time and time again, among the people that I meet, those who have loved and known love seem to be more at peace about many things. As well as, those who have been forgiven, and offered forgiveness.
So often I have to remind people that the place where they are is solid. That the things that we have so carefully "boxed away," for later cannot hurt us, because much of what is within that box we have already lived through it and it can no longer harm us.
The place I hope that we all can reach involves knowing the love that God has for us, even when we do not feel it. For each of us, God's love is enough! The place where each of us stand is holy, and we are the sacred place where God has chosen to dwell. We are the reason that God so loved the world, that a child was born...
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.