Monday, July 18, 2011

Guest column - this is must reading!

This past week, my good friend, David Carson, passed from death to life - into the presence of Jesus. It was an extremely difficult year for David's family as his health declined because of a brain tumor. Last week, just a day or two before he died, David's daughter, Lydia Wells, wrote the following words on her blog. I have not asked for permission, but I am 100% certain Lydia would not mind you sharing her grief - and, trust - through her words. Read, and weep, but be blessed:

Today has been a hard day for me. I've lived for over a year now with the knowledge that my Dad is dying. All along, I have prayed for either healing or a quick, painless death. Neither has happened. My Dad is suffering, his body is rotting, his mind is not clear, he is unable to do anything for himself. He has lost nearly everything that made him David Carson. It is hard to watch.

For the past week, I have been really dwelling on what he must be thinking and feeling, if he is able to think much. I don't know since he doesn't communicate with us anymore. Is he focusing on heaven? Is it dark where he is at? Is he groaning in his mind? I hear his sighs and quiet moans and I know he is hurting, though he has never once complained. Is he talking to God or is silent in his mind? Is he only capable of feeling the weariness and pain that I know he is feeling? Does he ever allow the thought to cross his mind that maybe God has forsaken him? OR is he content to suffer, knowing the glory that is coming?

I have had many conversations with God over the past two days. For some reason, my Dad's voice enters these conversations. Because I know my Dad's heart so well, I am easily able to imagine his interjections into these conversations, where I am, at this time, unable to hear God's reply. The great I AM is very silent right now. But my Dad, well, I can hear him pretty clearly. I know some of you may think that I am only giving my Dad's voice to God's replies...maybe.

When I rant and say things like, "It's not fair! My Dad is a good man and has served you well." my Dad's voice reminds me that no man is good enough to enter the presence of God and that no one deserves mercy. My Dad reminds me that we all deserve eternal separation from God, that we all deserve suffering and death. It is because of Jesus Christ and his death, and my Dad's acknowledgement of and acceptance of that, that my Dad will (eventually) enter heaven and spend eternity gazing on the face of his Savior.

When I *remind* God (as if HE needs reminding) of all the sacrifices my Dad has made for Him, of all the ways that my Dad has served and followed and loved Jesus Christ, my Dad's voice reminds me that he did not do those "works" to get to heaven or to make death easier. He lived the way he lived because he loves Jesus and wanted to honor Him with his life. Dad has always desired that others see Jesus in him, he has never cared that they see David Carson. One of my Dad's favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 2:2- "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." Dad did not need lofty speech or worldy wisdom to show others Jesus. I believe others so clearly see Jesus in the life of my Dad because he resolved to live the gospel for all to see.

As I watch my Dad's body fall apart, as I reflect on his life, I feel closer to him than I have ever felt, even though we are no longer able to communicate. Even though God remains silent to my entreaties and questions, I am still comforted by the knowledge that what I believe is REAL and it is TRUE. Even as I shed tears, I am at peace, because I know He holds the future and my Dad's future is with Him.

God sent His son,
They called Him Jesus.
He came to love, heal and forgive.
He lived and died, to buy my pardon.
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a new born baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still, the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days because Christ lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, He hold the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day, I'll cross the river.
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory.
I'll see the light of glory and I'll know that He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know,He hold the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives


Tom Rutledge said...

Awesome testimony of faith, tu for sharing. It reassured and shores up my foundation of faith as well. tom

Tom Rutledge said...

Maybe have found my nitch @ Grace, maybe i could be a "Chief Jumper?" Well maybe if i didn't have a bad back!! Back to the drawing board.....

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing. It's so very difficult to watch someone you love slowly die and even lose communication, but Lydia's words really touched and blessed my heart.