Way up in North Carolina (okay, so I know that’s not “way up”, but for us…it was 🙂 )
Can I just tell you how NERVOUS we were? Can I tell you how the enemy has plagued my soul??? Can I tell you how much sleep we lost?
I really wish we could have recorded our trip on video…we could have won the $10,000 prize for the funniest video! We were quite a pair. From our first sip of that “iced coffee” when we left, to getting turned around in Columbus, GA, to pluggin’ through Atlanta…to me getting my bag hung in the elevator when we were leaving for home—it was a blast!
But for today….I need to give you something from the archives of my devotionals… There is something stewing…in my brain. A second chance the Lord gave me—just last week. But since it is still in the “cooking stages” of my thoughts—I remembered this and it “sort of” goes along with it…
Here ya go…..
We have all heard or used the saying, “famous last words”….either just before or immediately following something wild, crazy or maybe just some unusual circumstances.
During some thoughtful days a few weeks ago, some words from my favorite Sunday School teacher came back to my mind. George said, “you should always treat and talk to your loved ones better than you would strangers”. He immediately recounted a family story of when he and his wife were traveling somewhere (sorry George, I can’t remember where you were going), and they had been having a loud family discussion (maybe it wasn’t loud, maybe it wasn’t a discussion—but you get the picture) in the car. Now if you’ve ever traveled anywhere, whether it be to Church, Wal-mart or on vacation with children, you know that no matter how short the journey, sometimes children can make a 5 mile trip feel like 500 miles. Sometimes you can’t help but raise your voice (okay, maybe yell). Anyway, while on this little driving jaunt, a car pulled along side George’s car and with the window rolled down the driver from the other car asked for directions. Well George, in his sweet caring voice, gave them wonderful directions and then wanting to make certain these individuals arrived safely at their destination, he proceeded to tell them to just follow him, it was not out of his way.
George, I hope I am telling this correctly [if you are reading this], but immediately when he rolled back up his window, he felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit. (His sweet wife also may have nudged him) He had spoken with more love and compassion to those total strangers than he had just moments prior to that scene than with his own family. What was up with that?
What if that were his last words to his family. What if that were the last scene of his life?
I know many times I have allowed our girls to leave the house for school, or get out of the car after some particularly harsh “growing up words”. You know, you have probably had them yourself….”you are old enough to know better!”…”I have told you and told you!”….”Come on, clean up this pig sty!”…What if that were the last words you left this life with? What if that were the last things your loved one heard you say?
This has been on my mind a lot lately. A few months ago, a dear friend of my mother had an aneurysm on the brain. After surgery, they did not give the family much hope of recovery. But little by little the Lord is bringing her back. The very morning it had happened, she and my mother had their normal morning walk. They talked of the usual things, their church, family, life routines. What were her conversations with her sweet family members? I have no idea. Knowing Jackie as I do, they were caring words. She is a caring person. She is trying to converse again, although with the tracheotomy, it is more difficult. But she proceeds with the trying! She is a fighter! She has been a school teacher most of my life. A teacher of the Bible at church as well, for almost all ages! Her circumstances have given me much to ponder though. If I were to leave this world today, or become incapacitated, unable to communicate ever again, what would be the last conversations my loved ones remember?
I hope my daughter Tiffany would remember that I told her I loved her. I hope she would remember that I told her that our whole family loved her and cared for her. I hope that she would cherish the hug I gave her. I hope that she would “write down” the prayers her children pray before they sleep. That is a priceless treasure.
I hope that my daughter April would remember what she is to me. I hope she would remember that I thanked her for taking the time out of her day to come and clean for me. I hope that she would hold tight to her heart the hug I gave her. I hope that she would continue to be the bright light and compassionate individual for Christ she is.
I hope that my dear husband would remember the feel of my arms as I held him for our morning “hug”. I hope he would remember the tenderness I feel as I told him I loved him. I hope he would remember what he saw in my eyes. I hope he remembers that I promised I would love him from now to eternity and then forever….
I hope that my friends and loved ones could each say that they caught sight of Jesus at work in my life….these are just a few of my hopes.
In doing a search of “famous last words” online, I found a couple I want to share….
Cleveland, Steven Grover (1837-1908) Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. “I have tried so hard to do right.”
Edison, Thomas A. (1847-1931) “It’s very beautiful over there.” In the Spring of 1929, Thomas Edison traveled from his home and laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey, to Dearborn, Michigan, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his invention of the electric light as well as the opening of both the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. After being introduced by President Hoover, Edison delivered a brief banquet speech and then collapsed. The president’s physician quickly rushed to Edison’s aid and determined that he was suffering from severe pneumonia. Edison returned to Menlo Park but never fully recovered. He collapsed again in August, 1931, and was bedridden for the last two months of his life. He sank into semi-consciousness, and his second wife, Mina, remained by his side. On Edison’s last day, she leaned close and asked, “Are you suffering?” to which he replied, “No, just waiting.” Edison then looked out of his bedroom window and softly spoke his last words.
This has not meant to be a gloomy post, but one for reflection. When my youngest daughter, April was saved from the jaws of death in a tragic automobile accident (the driver at fault was killed—drinking—no insurance), the frailty of life hit me like a ton of bricks. It became very clear, like never before clear, that God and only GOD controlled the breath we take for granted. She was saved from death, although, not without the scars for a reminder of how uncertain life can be.
The uncertainty of our future should give each of us cause to pause, not only where we will spend eternity, but how we leave our loved ones. When the Lord chooses to call me home, I want to leave knowing I have done my best for Christ. As my uncle once said, “to hear Him say “Well done, thy good and faithful servant“, you will have to do well.”
In reflecting back on Wanda’s last words…the Lord has given me sweet reminders in the past few days…reminders that only HE would have known about, from some of His sweet obedient children (Iris and Lori). That is another post—but coming soon!