In which there is a blink

by Craig on September 28, 2011

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dyingsource

Sara’s funeral is today.
And this is a heavy post…
you know…
I’m like that sometimes.

The flow of time…
oncoming, here, then past the horizon…
A future…maybe…
past only memory…
and the present…
slips. right. by.

But now, for Sara…
eternity, bliss…
sequence but no passing of time.

And no more talk of death beyond today.

But today…

I’m puzzled by the lack of proportion…
between a being’s preciousness and its fragility.
The universe, which seems greater than us, but is in fact less…
its lifetime is immeasurable…
but ours?

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying

“…a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” (James 4:14)

Youth sees with eyes of hope, but also inexperience.
Experience, especially if accompanied by illness, sees brokenness.

And the dark doorway of death…
both ominous and beckoning…
only through it lies the guarantee to our faith…
and everything that anchors us to this life…
must be lain down before entrance.

The dark doorway lights up everything, beneficial, beautiful, and dreadful.

In the Western world (and Australia) we all know of Christian heaven and hell.
So even those who don’t believe, play the game of believing at funerals.
So near to the kingdom of God…
so heartbreakingly far away.

Even if we believe, the presence of death can be so heavy, and the gravity of the dark doorway so impending that doubt can blur true vision. I believed – and believe – that Sara still lives. But I was sad about the “end” of her life.

gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-choosejoy-death-dying

Feelings can betray faith. (PR 14:12)

And the “judgment” part of death?
That doesn’t bother me so much.
I am forgiven. I am loved. I won’t be lost or extinguished. I will live.
The same is true for Sara.

I have accepted the simple first century Gospel…
and if you haven’t heard it succinctly…
please, please have an ear to hear right now…

accept the sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross…
and lay your life at the alter as a living sacrifice…

Believe. Then. Love.

And the bright side…
knowing as we are known…
seeing God face to face…
mountaintop to mountaintop life without valleys…
answers to all our questions (heaven’s a good place for the curious)…
not losing anything but gaining unimaginable things.

I feel like Solomon at the end of Ecclesiastes as he sums up the conclusion of all his meandering thoughts: seasons for this and that, bad things happening to good people, who knows if there’s even a heaven, none of this makes sense, nothing is fair, life is useless…

and then a one quick as a blink conclusion…

“Fear God and keep his commandments” (ECC 12:13)

Blink.

And mine…

It’s far better to believe…

no matter how weak or doubtful the faith is…

than the alternative.

Blink.

 

linking today with Emiliy…

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria September 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

so much in here that I want to chew on and savor. nothing that I don’t already know, just perspectives to ponder. I need time. May I ever use your quotes (i.e on Facebook) ? I would remember to credit you and then I might comment on my own conclusions to my ponderings.
Once again…I loved the end. v

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Craig September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I’m with you Victoria, there was nothing really new for me here either, but it seemed the right time to write it all down. And the inter-webs is for sharing – so please – share away. I’m honored. God bless you!

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Lisa notes... September 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I wish I had known Sara down here. Now I will have to wait until up there. What a moving and beautiful tribute to this daughter of the King, Craig. Thank you for putting these sentiments into words.

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Craig September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Lisa, this year I named connect – the year that you told me months ago I was doing well at – and yes – I remember – thank you. It has tattered my heart now many times – really torn it to pieces – and not once has it been about me. Without this year of connect those times would not have happened. Apparently it was time that they did. Thank you Lisa. Bless you.

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Dawn September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Dear Craig,

You are waxing philosophical today. It kinda sounded like the Pascal Wager and I quote from Wikipedia (because I am not a philosopher, I had to look this vague notion up): “a rational person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.”

Well, I know you are not wagering. You have met the Creator of the Universe, been washed in the blood of His Son and are learning to love like never before. It’s been a good year; painful certainly, but you know pain and this pain is serving you well (for a change).

Hugs here,
Dawn

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Craig September 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Dawn, I heart the Pascal Wager – I thought I actually made it up myself – until I read it years ago ツ and Amen – the year has seen my heart grow. Thank you for being part of it. God bless you Dawn.

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Martha Orlando September 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Dear Craig,
Tonight, I found out one of my dad’s and mother’s friend is dying. They are taking her off life support. She leaves behind many family and friends in her wake. This is not just any friend for my mother and dad, but one who has been in their shared 83 years of life since childhood. She leaves behind a husband who doesn’t know how to put the first foot in front of him without her, and grown children with problems so replete in their own, I don’t know whether or not they can be there for their Dad or for their Mom, in completeness. I don’t know if they have been saved, but I am praying for that, right now, with all that my heart knows how to do.

I don’t ask for signs from God, but your blog has turned out to be one. The last weeks have provided me with light of what is happening now, with how He prepares us for losing someone from this life; where we grieve, where we ask for renewal in faith. I believe in eternal life, where we will live forever, in joy, complete and realized, with Him. I pray that, soon, Barbara and Sara will be walking the green pastures together, hand in hand, sharing unspeakable joy with one another and rejoicing in being sisters in and children of the God Most High.

Love and blessings and peace, my brother!

Your posts regarding Sara are so helping me and my family to help with Barbara’s.

God is good, eternally good, in every need or want we may have.

I. Love. Him!

Love you, too!
Martha

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Craig September 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Martha, thank you. These weeks as I’ve written about this I’ve worried that it was too much – all about the same thing. I was afraid people would get tired of me bleeding my heart everywhere. Thank you for letting me know that it meant something. Thank you. God bless you Martha.

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Cora September 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Craig, I was here first thing this morning when you first posted this. I read it . . . and reread it, and had to leave and take the day to chew on all of this. I entered into Sara’s funeral service, feeling like I was just watching from afar, from behind a tree or through a peephole. I don’t do well with funerals. I know. . . most everyone will say, “Who does????” When I say this, I mean, I can’t seem to find the right emotions, feelings, reactions, etc. I had NO emotions as an 8-year-old child when my mother died suddenly. I never missed her, never asked any questions, never cried, etc. Strange that no one saw that! And since then, every funeral I’ve been to, I find myself with a matter-of-fact acceptance of the homegoing. I have much more trouble with a pet dying.

All that just to say, you have helped me to find thoughts. All my life I have been searching for words, something concrete to put my thoughts into. Now that I am older and I have an oncologist who says it’s not “if” but “when” the cancer will come back, I’ve wondered if I would make that journey with no words, thoughts, or emotions. For someone who has LOTS of words all the time, that is a frightening thought for me. I agree with Martha above me. This has helped me so much. Dawn said somewhere that the pain you have experienced through this “connect” thing is good for you. Well, please know that it has that ripple effect and has been good for me, too. I’ve walked with you through this painful night of the soul, and you have taught me so much. Thank you!

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Craig September 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Cora, first of all, I’m sorry for being late to reply – I actually tried to read some blogs today – and leave some comments myself. I forgot that there were comments on my own blog left over from after I went to bed. Things have not been “normal” for a while.

and people get so wrapped up in themselves – I get wrapped up in myself too – I guess we all do – so I’m not surprised that the 8 year old girl was looked over – it was obvious what was going on with the six-year-old boy too – nobody saw that. Cora, it means a lot to me that this meant something to you. Cora, thank you, thank YOU. in God bless you as always. And you better stay healthy! Understand?!

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Brandee September 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I had the scariest dream about judgment the other night, Craig. I haven’t been able to shake it.

Your post is beautiful. I’m sorry for Sara’s separation from all who loved her.

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Craig September 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm

first of all Brandee, I’m sorry for being late in replying. Today I actually tried to read a few blogs and leave comments and forgot that I had comments left over from last night that came in after I had gone to bed.I’ve been so destroyed by all of this that I haven’t been reading much – tried to change that today. And are you okay, now, with the judgment dream? I hope so. From what I’ve read – which is all I know of you ツ it doesn’t seem to me that you have too much to worry about as far as judgment. You are a sister in our Lord. Thank you Brandee for your kind words – they always mean a lot. God bless and keep you.

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Kara September 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Craig,

Your writing is a fitting gift to us and sweet memorial to Sara. My, the truths of God she caused (and still causes) us to ponder.
And you cause me to ponder right now, how we, how I, complicate such simple matters.

Thanks for the break down, friend.

Kara

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Craig September 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Kara, Sara has been all I’ve been able to write lately – every post for weeks, on both blogs has been about her, and about this. It has touched me to the core. Thank you for being so nice. God bless and keep you and all of yours – and again, thank you.

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Nacole September 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Craig,

this. was. so. good. i have had my own dark ponderings lately, not nice ones–the kind that make a weak, frail human very afraid that everything is nothing but a black hole and there is no meaning, no reason, you are just hurdling head-long toward pain and nothingness when you die. not. a. good. thought. all of us struggle, especially those of us who are deep thinkers and tend to be very observant and analytical–its almost like having a sixth sense. sometimes this serves me well, and sometimes, not so well. im extremely sensitive, and people tell me so. i hope that i can use it in a beneficial way to others–by mourning with them in their needs, lowness and sorrow.

thanks for this post from your heart–for being so brave in writing what everyone thinks but doesn’t really want to say.

and in the end, if we are wise, we will come to the same conclusion that you did–it’s better to believe in the end. anyway, how could i not–when the doubt comes and goes, and He continues to make Himself known to me so evidently. is it any coincidence that i am able to stay married through the worst kind of trials that some couples have not made it through (50% of the population and climbing)? is it coincidence that i am able to change from the horrid creature that i am by my own sinful nature, and by what i was taught in my home–by the abuse that went on daily– to a nature of a mom who shares the gospel with her children daily? i dont think these things are coincidences. i feel His redemptive power and I SEE it working. i cant see Him, but i can see the EFFECTS of Him. the same way i cannot see the wind–but i can see the EFFECTS of the wind. an atheist said to me a while back that i was either a fool or a liar, and he also stated to me or to someone else in conversation (i cant recall) that believing in God was the same as believing in fairy tales and it is foolish to believe something you read in a book. this does something to a person’s faith to hear these things. not that he can that easily dismantle my faith, but there is still that dark seed lurking. thats why God has people like you, who are givers and imparters of light to speak to us against the lies of Satan. thank you, Craig. and if you couldn’t tell, i really–really–liked the ending.

blessings,

Nacole

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Craig September 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm

and I was actually afraid that I might be writing something that nobody thought but me – thank you for letting me know I wasn’t alone – that I’m not alone. and I heart your depth of thought – and I heart how you feel – and I understand darkness – I understand it. I’ve seen great light. I’ve seen abysmal darkness. I get it my friend.

When I have shared the story of physical abuse that happened to me early on in my life – people wonder how I turned out the way that I did. In a way maybe subconsciously it was intentional. My father was very successful in the eyes of the world – and didn’t know love. I’m a failure in the eyes of the world but I get love a little bit. It doesn’t surprise me that you are going a different way than your past..

And the thing about believing – in this long path it has taken me on – this one that I kicked and screamed and doubted every single step of the way – I’ve asked that atheist to examine just one thing – one person – not a book – but Jesus. CS Lewis wrote of the trilemma – Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. He claimed to be God – investigating that claim was one of the first steps of my faith. It’s not a fairytale because it’s based in history – based on a real person – and an empty tomb – and the resurrected Jesus who want flitting around like a frisky lamb. I want you to know that there are very few questions I don’t have the answers for – not because I’m smart – but because I came to faith by the way of doubt – so I have encountered just about every question – and God has answered them all for me. So if you ever run into a question of faith – please know you can come here – and I probably have an answer – because I’ve had to answer for myself somewhere over the last 20 some odd years. Our faith make sense. God bless you my simple, but complicated, thinking, feeling, friend.

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imperfect prose September 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm

oh. it’s so hard. and her life, spoke such volumes but now, her death, speaking even louder… and yes, this line between preciousness and fragility. deep, wonderful thoughts, craig. thank you.

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Craig September 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I know I’ve said this before – but I still find it so astounding that you take the time to comment on everybody. You are a special one Emily – I’m grateful I get to read you – someday I may be able to write like you. And I’m just grateful for you – and thank you for your kind words – and you, YOU, take care of yourself – and God bless you and your babies and your husband. God bless.

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