I love to look at pictures of canyons, ravines, crags, and crevices. Something about a camera angle that takes you to the very edge, and allows you to look over is invigorating. The view is often spectacular and breathtaking. I’d prefer the video or picture as opposed to the real thing because I am afraid of heights. There I said it out loud … I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS! I edge away uneasily from the glass wall of a 3 story elevator, and I am not real keen on driving over the Mackinaw or Chesapeake bridges. My unease is very “normal” to me and it causes me to shy away from what might be an amazing experience.
Sometimes death is treated the same way … better a picture of that edge than to experience the real thing. When a loved one is approaching the edge of this life fear and unease are a very real part of the experience. Cerebrally, we who call ourselves Christian, know that Jesus is just over that edge. We understand that our eternity is with Him in heaven … but man, that walk to the edge can be an uneasy one.
I am thinking about that today because Dad has taken that walk over the edge. His earthly struggle is over and he is standing with Jesus now, holding hands with Mom. A week or so ago my wife, Bev, and I sat having a quiet lunch with dad. He started to talk about heaven and eternity. I began to feel a sense of unease, wanting to jump up and shout, “Stay away from the edge!” It was as if not talking about it made it less real. As long as we looked everywhere else but down that edge wouldn’t exist. As I was wrestling with this dad looked at me and said, “I am not afraid, I just wonder what the process is going to be”. It was as if he sensed my discomfort and was trying to settle me, and that was just like dad! Here he is, facing the edge for himself, and thinking about others.
I have learned so many things from this man. Things like grace, responsibility, love, courage, quiet manliness, servant attitude, faithful obedience, and a desire to just love Jesus as best you can. I have now learned something new, something that will stick with me forever. Fearlessness! As I watched him approach the edge I saw trust and faith in Jesus, and a heart filled with grace and dignity. Thank you again Dad … I will see you in heaven!
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