There is a special wonder---a miracle--you are allowed to witness when a baby comes into the world. When you gaze at this little person and know they spent the first nine months growing in their Mommy and now here they are--apart and separate--a part of the world. These tiny little people---who have the same working parts as the rest of us--but in miniature size. Gazing upon them--and knowing they will someday be a full sized working model, I am always struck by the sheer miracle in it all.
On the other end of the spectrum is being present at the leaving of our loved ones. I have been present for a few of these occasions. It can be a beautiful moment which draws upon both ends of the emotional scale. As you watch those last few slow labored breaths, as you see their heart slow, as you witness them slowly disappear while gazing in their eyes---it is an absolutely indescribable experience to stand steadfastly by the side of a loved one as they slowly fade from this world and enter the next. The sure and certain knowledge of a lifetime of memories shared hang in the room as you tenaciously cling to them those last hours. It was a privilege and moment of great love to be present in the last hours of my loved ones. The dichotomy of emotions present in that moment defy description--sadness at loss and the joy of having them in your life---the grief of losing their presence and the hope that comes with the knowledge of where they are now.
Our presence at the comings and goings of our loved ones is a blessing beyond compare. I recently read a true story about the death of an amazing woman---who was surrounded by her friends in those last days. What struck me was the difference in the experience when there is no hope of more. When Jesus is not present - the season becomes the final curtain in the drama of life. There is no hope of a future role.
My experiences in the comings has been beautiful--life affirming--a time of greatest joy. The goings can be just as beautiful--eternity affirming--and a sweet final earthly good bye. What an unbelievable blessing to be allowed to be present in the final going of a dear one-to watch the crossing over--and to know--there is more.
They can no longer die; for they are like the angels.
He is not the God of the dead,
but of the living, for to him all are alive.