Phone call from death, line 1

I’ve had a front-row seat over the last three and a half weeks as I’ve watched my mom decline toward her death. Though she was very intentional about not seeking treatment for her cancer, now that she’s facing death, she dances toward the grave and then, in a panic, tries to pull back from its gravity. Between some God-appointed, Spirit-anointed hospice nurses and myself, I am more confident now than I was 3-1/2 weeks ago that my mom is hearing the essence of the gospel, and that God is working in her even as she spends almost all of her time non-communicative, eyes closed and hunched over. Every labored breath is a gift from God to her, giving her time to reconcile with Him before she meets Him face-to-face. I am not interested in falsely prolonging her life – only making sure she is comfortable as she goes through the end of it.

Which is what makes yesterday’s dark lunchtime phone call from one of her neighbors all the more outrageous. The last time I met this woman in person was 10 years ago, at my dad’s funeral, and that I have only spoken to her a couple of times on the phone in the last 3 weeks. When this woman called yesterday to find out how my mom was doing and I gave her a general report of my mom’s physical decline, she proceeded to tell me that when her physician husband was dying of cancer and it was getting near the end, she took the advice of another physician friend who told her to (a) turn off her husband’s oxygen and (b) give him super-size doses of morphine She encouraged my sister and I to do the same for my mom. That an almost-near stranger would feel the liberty to suggest this to me has to be a whole new category of chutzpah. Or worse.

Jesus’ resurrection has shattered curse of death, decay and evil.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
– John 11:25-27

He is the only hope in death.
And in this life.

About Michelle Van Loon
  • Anonymous

    Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart
    Martin Schalling – 1567

    Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
    To Abram’s bosome bear me home,
    that I may die unfearing;
    And in its narrow chamber keep
    My body safe in peaceful sleep
    Until thy reappearing.
    And then from death awaken me
    That these mine eyes with joy may see,
    O Son of God thy glorious face,
    My Savior and my Fount of grace.
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    My prayer attend, my prayer attened,
    And I will praise Thee without end.

    Dan & Tammy Dahling


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