Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)
TITLE: Beyond Death's Veil
By Clyde Blakely
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A friend recently died. He had retired just 20 days earlier. His son is returning from Taiwan for the funeral.
Sudden, unexpected deaths give us pause as we often say the deceased was “too young”, it was unfair, untimely, a life cut short, tragic, or some other phrase to help the mourning. We offer comfort the best we can; it’s our duty through love. I’m not minimizing death. Death is always sad to some degree.
I probably think about dying more than others, not in a morbid sense but in the reality that unless Christ comes back soon I will die. By being in the medical field I deal with death issues frequently plus I have lost all my grandparents, parents, aunts, two sisters, recently lost my beloved mother-in-law who we gave total care to in our home for 12 years, and I have come close to death several times. I’ve attempted to plan, especially since my wife’s life expectancy is much longer than mine: I draw a small retirement, we have 401K’s, life insurance, CD’s and other monies coming in while still working. Life is short, sometimes very short. We make plans for retirement, vacations, even trips to the grocery store. But how much planning do we make for death and the life after this life?
My friend did; he invested not only for his family’s future but also for his future. A future more certain than any investment here on earth. An investment where neither moth nor rust corrupts and thieves do not break in and steal. I see how many aspects of his life were woven together to form a beautiful tapestry when all finished. He lived a solid life, dedicated to the Lord. He had his ups and downs like we all experience but reviewing the “finished product” of his life, it can be seen how most of it fit neatly together.
When I consider my own life’s tapestry I see it fraying in many places. It does not look beautiful. I do not see the “picture” as I often do in other’s lives. Perhaps I’m too close or it’s that I know my own thoughts. What I see appears to have patches sewn over holes in the tapestry. Holes where I knew I was out of God’s will. These patches can not be undone for time only moves in one direction for us and we can’t go back to do differently.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we see through a glass dimly now but when we see Jesus we will see everything clearly and be known as we are known (I Cor. 13:12 – my paraphrase). How this happens I do not know. We are given a glimpse of this, I believe, during the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-8. Peter, James, and John were present when Jesus was suddenly changed before their eyes. His was seen in His full glory while speaking with Moses and Elijah. We have no record of Jesus having introduced everyone but the disciples recognized Moses and Elijah. Perhaps it was as Paul said, we will “…be known as we are known”.
For now we see through that glass to the “other side” dimly, when our lives are over we will look back and see clearly what He has prepared for us. Events here that were horrific and sad will not look like that on the back side of death’s veil. For all things work together FOR GOOD to everyone who loves God and follow His will (Romans 8:28 – paraphrased).
When Jesus died the temple’s curtain to the Holy of Holies was torn allowing us access to His presence. When death’s veil which keeps us from seeing the other side of life’s tapestry is traversed we will see the magnificent workmanship the Lord has done through our lives and how neatly and perfectly its elements are brought together. We are looking at the underside of this tapestry now. Only God can see how it is all fitting together. He is the One Who sees how those patches sewn over holes really fit and He makes them beautiful to His sight.
It’s been said that death is merely a door we go through to the other side. I love my life but for me, death is what I’ve lived for all my life.
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