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Insights From Mortality


Insights From Mortality


“For He will give His angels charge concerning you. To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra. The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.” Psalms 91:11-13

So here I sit… my mother-in-law, Karla, fighting for life.

We haven’t always gotten along, but somehow over these 33 years of sharing family, we have learned to love each other. I have learned much.

Thinking back, I’ll always remember the time when I asked her what she would think about me proposing to her daughter.

“What do I think?” She snapped,” I think you don’t have a job.” (She has always been willing to speak her mind.)

By the way, I actually did have a job, if landing a Fulbright scholarship to Germany, spouse allowance included, for a year of graduate study is considered. And we did do Germany, and Europe, together.

It’s amazing what you can reanalyze when you’re sitting in the hospital for hours on end.

First, you appreciate family. Beth and I, and all of our children, are gathered to witness this lofty milestone. Second, you ponder your own mortality, and the mortality of those around you. Third, Scriptures speak to you in ways you can only understand as you look death in the face.

So I thought I would share a few passages that have become real to multiple members of the family at one time. For example, George Madison suggested I read Psalm 91 and ponder the idea of strong angels gathering the saints back to the Lord and his kingdom.

Anne, my sister-in-law, had been reading the same chapter. Jeremy read us Isaiah 61, fresh from his morning mass. Powerful.

Beth and I were both dwelling on Psalm 84. Holly read about a dozen passages from the Psalms. Everyone seemed to connect.

And I can’t help but ponder how many times recently I have read scripture without inspiration. I’m grateful to be slowed down so that I can see these truths face-to-face. God speaks very clearly in times such as these.


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