Circle of Life
Our church is doing an amazing study on how your life would change if you only had 30 days to live. I believe that we all have moments when we feel more connected to the reality of our death, but most of the time we are just living life (eating, pooping, sleeping, driving, working, talking on the phone, searching the web, watching tv, planning our next day).
My mother and I were very blessed through the pain of her illness and healing of our mutual survival. She has been given 6 months to live so many times that when we speak those words we do it with a chuckle. But the truth is that when you hear a doctor tell you that you may die, will probably die, in the next 6 months you begin to evaluate your life. Praise God that I was given this wake up call early in my life because it gave me a realistic view, Godly view is a better description, of my time here on earth. I have always viewed my time here as very short, like a vacation to a wonderful place, but not like home. And that realistic understanding of our time on earth can only come through the holy spirit as a gift from God.
As a young child we believed the doctors, always question what you believe to be true, and we were always evaluating our circumstances and discussing what we would do if mom died. I learned to dial 911 early in life in case I found my mother not breathing. If mom started to appear like she was having a brain bleed I had specific things to do to take care of her. There was talk about where I would go if she was in the hospital, went into rehabilitation or died. I remember at the age of 6 my grandparents came out to California, stayed a week, gave me all of these instructions and then went back home. Truth is that there were days that I prayed God would let me go to heaven with my mom or that he would go ahead and take her so I could find a permanent home here on earth.
Between the ages of 10 and 20 my mom refused to go to the doctors. She just believed that she would live and I believed that too. Talk about a faith that works! She decided that she was going to focus our lives on God and that we both had specific work that needed to be done for him. She would tell others her story and they would say the same. There were days that I just wanted to live like everyone else around us, just be. But most of the time God would intervene and remind me that we are not here just to live, we are here to save. And because I have to be reminded of this often and in substantial ways, I faced my own doctors and talks of death when I was pregnant with Carter. How odd it is that I grew up praying I would not have the same illness as my mother and was always reassured it was not genetic. And later found out that it was genetic, that I had it and that the doctors did not know what to do. Of course, God heals and new studies proved that a baby aspirin can and does save. How amazing that when the fears of my childhood became reality God filled me with an overwhelming peace so powerful that it saved my husband.
I was reminded of all of this today on a visit to the butterfly house. There was a butterfly caught in a spiders web. Carter asked if we could save it, take it out of the web. But as I looked at the butterfly and noticed his legs were broken I knew that taking it out of the web would not respect the circle of life. What an awesome visual to teach how fragile life is and how the circle of life, created by God, is beautiful. We talked about it again this morning. How God created that butterfly for many things. Our enjoyment in watching those beautiful creatures emerge from a caterpillar is an important part of their life. But feeding spiders is another very meaningful part of their life and, of course, death. I share this with my children because I do not want them to fear death. For if they fear death they will not live. If they do not live, they can not save.