Tuesday, August 18, 2015

on mortality

On Saturday morning, a friend from our Louisville days sent word to us that a mutual friend and sister in faith had been killed in a car accident.  It was a shocking turn in her story that no one could have foretold.  I remember when her first baby was born and the small glimpses into her life along the way that were filled with joy.  She was the kind of wife and mother that made everything around her beautiful. I spent the weekend thinking about her husband and three young daughters who were made widow and orphan in a fraction of a second. It was the kind of shocking accident that makes your breath draw in fast.  The kind of hit at mortality that reminds you that, quite literally, any moment could be your last.  In an instant, the lives of those who were sitting right beside her in the car, whose breath kept going, were unalterably changed.

I read the story of Lazarus again.  It is found in the eleventh chapter of the book of John.  Lazarus was ill, and he died.  Jesus, the God-man full of miracles, was in another place.  When he finally arrives at Bethany, Lazarus's sisters, Mary and Martha , are waiting for him. They are mourning, and lament that Jesus had not been there to heal him.  Surely, in all His power, Jesus's presence could have prevented the death.  What follows is a miraculous raising from the dead. After four days in the grave, Lazarus walks out alive. Christ had all the power of God in him.

But before Jesus raises him from the dead, he is with Mary, Lazarus's sister.  She is weeping.  And it says that Jesus was "deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled." What follows is that tiny little verse everyone jokes about when it comes to Bible memory.  It is the shortest verse in the Scriptures. "Jesus wept." What is startling is that Jesus has already spoken to his disciples in a way that makes you feel sure he was planning to raise Lazarus.  He walks into a grieving situation, with full knowledge that he can and will raise him from the dead, and yet he grieves with her.  He leans into humanity and recognizes the hurt, the sorrow, the loss of this fallen, mortal world.  He weeps.  I love a Savior like that.  Full of all the power to raise him from the dead, and all the humanity to be deeply moved by the sorrow in this world.

My friend, Kyra, I have every reason to believe, passed in an instant from mortal life to immortal glory. Her faith was lived out in tangible ways, her hope, very obviously, in the work of Jesus to make a way for her to be reconciled to God.  We weep.  But she rejoices in the completeness of Christ.

The words of Christ echo through the ages.
"I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26
These bodies will die.  Young or old, only God knows. Lean into a hope more certain than the rising of the sun, the grace of God that is ours in Christ Jesus when we believe.

We weep now, in this passing world.  A day of rejoicing is coming.

I realize there are some who read this blog who may not have certain peace that if their mortal life closed this instant and they stood before a Holy God that all would be well for them.  This weekend has made me painfully aware how pressing the good news is. There is such hope.  This video is a great simple explanation.  Close your eyes in peace this day. Christ gave himself for you. 


Kelly Brasher said...

Laura, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Our pastor had Greg read Kyra's story in our service Sunday night, and we prayed for her family. My friends and I agree that except for the pain that it would cause our loved ones, we are ready to see Jesus now. Praise the Lord, Kyra is enjoying what we are longing for here in this world every day. I love you, sweet girl. You are a precious smile for my heart daily...

Gayle Smith said...

I too had heard of Kyra's story. Praying for all. Enjoy reading your words.

Shannon said...

Very sorry to read about the death of your friend, Laura. What a tragic ending to her young life - I will pray that all those who loved her will feel God's comfort as they grieve.