Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Complexities of Faith

I've been spending time wondering about the complexities of faith. Is there absolute truth? What's the point of life on earth? Why would God allow suffering? Those are all very good and important questions and may find their way into another post.

But my perspective changed the other day with one phone call. A dear woman in our church is in her final days. One of the joys of having been at SonLife this long is seeing kids that were in grade school when we arrived get married and have kids. Now one of the challenges is going to be mourning the loss of some people that have become dear to us.

This woman will tell it like it is. She tells how she used to have to go the creek and break the ice to get water in the winter. She is a fighter and is very generous. Our family's new tradition is to go out to their property to cut down a Christmas tree, followed by our kids being filled up with cookies and milk. We received a hand-made quilt from her when we moved into this house. The craftsmanship is amazing. In fact, it's on our bed right now.

She is fond of Mike. One time she asked him what he liked to eat before he came over. He jokingly said prime rib. (Well, he does love it, but didn't actually expect her to make it for him). On her orders, her daughter scoured the restaurants in the area to find a place she could take him to for prime rib. She did that many times and loved every minute of it! She was very happy that both her doctor and pastor were young so they'd outlive her and wouldn't need to train new ones. Even though she can't talk much now, her son noticed she can clearly ask for Pastor Mike.

Mike has been there a lot the last few days. After a series of strokes she is ready to go home. When asked if she meant home to Holyoke, she said no. Home to heaven. She wanted to talk about love so Mike read her 1 Corinthians 13.

And I realized that in the end when you are laying in your hospital bed, faith is not complex. It's simple. God loved us enough to sacrifice His son for us. If we accept His gift, we look forward to a heavenly home going. Now that is simply beautiful.

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 comment:

Shan in Japan said...

Thank you for the reminder that faith is not necessarily as complex as we seem to make it. What a blessing that this dear woman knows Jesus personally and has been such an influence in your family's life. Prayers for peace as you and Mike walk through this time with her and the family.
Home assignment is going well. This week is at my sister's relaxing!!