In recent days the world has been stunned by the deaths of popular American icons–Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and Michael Jackson. No matter where my TV remote takes me, I hear the latest updates on Jackson’s death or see tributes to the lives of these people who were came to know in some dimensions through the medium of entertainment.
As my self-talk spins out at the end of the day, I relate to these deaths. It’s been just nine months since my family lost my mother, and we’re awaiting open-heart surgery on my father within the next few weeks. We all struggle with fears of losing those we love, of isolation, of rejection, of falling victim to the unfairness of life. Is life a series of cosmic coincidences? How do I live in a world where sorrow is as much a part of everyday existence as joy?
In the final days of my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, she slipped into a coma. Knowing how she loved music and Scripture, I sang and quoted the Bible to her. When I’d stop, Mom would squeeze my hand, gently urging me to continue. I sang to her for hours–for days, always pausing at the end of each song or verse to feel the pressure of her hand on mine.
In the past year or so I’ve learned to wait for that same pressure of the Spirit of God in my heart as I read Scripture and pray and meditate throughout the day. Sometimes the Words of Scripture themselves flow into my heart with God’s reassuring voice. At times they stir me with reassurance or prompt me to move forward to act. But my self-talk has become a continual cycle of prayer as I commune with God throughout the day–chatting, confessing, asking God to show me how to love others through him. I’ve learned that self-talk is an avenue of intimacy with God as I link my fears, heartbreak, dreams, and desires, to his heartbeat for my life.
Sorrow is part of the broken world we live in. Thank God we have a Savior who faced the final curtain call on our behalf. One day we’ll all look him in the eye and know our flash of time on earth wasn’t for fame or fortune. The purpose that pulls us through this life is to walk in the image of God and in the beauty of purpose he ordained for us: loving him with all our heart, soul, and strength, and loving others as ourselves.
This Is It.