Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Dinner: Psalm 23:6--"Born Again"

Sorry I haven't served a "Sunday Dinner" in a while. (The idea behind Sunday Dinner is explained here.) I wasn't able to post songs when I was living in Guatemala and then the weeks following were all about getting Daniel home and then getting him settled at home. But now that life is returning to normal (well, as close to normal as we'll ever get), I plan to get back to serving a Scripture and a new song on a regular basis.

I had just about made it through the 23rd Psalm when I left off and there is only one verse left to go. It is perhaps the verse that has the most meaning to me.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6

As I've shared in past posts here and here, at the darkest time in my life it occurred to me that the 23rd Psalm doesn't end in the valley of death . . . it ends with goodness and mercy shall follow. And it seems that with the phrasing "all the days of my life" and "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever", this goodness and mercy would not only be a promise for eternity but for our days on earth as well.

My life is a testimony of this goodness and mercy. Those of you walking through a valley right now may be wondering what exactly goodness and mercy are. Well, they will be different for each person. Just like you wouldn't give your children the same gift at Christmas, God gives us all different gifts of goodness and mercy. But one blessing of brokenness is that you will be able to understand and appreciate these gifts like never before.

It is such a blessing watching Daniel appreciate the goodness and mercy in his life. I remember when we were living in Guatemala we would stay up some nights talking with our heads on our pillows facing each other. One of the questions he asked a lot was, "What is our home like?" I'd try to describe it and I had even shown him some pictures, but until he actually walked through the doors of HIS home with HIS family he could not fully understand the goodness and mercy of being there.

Now our home is by no means heaven, but in his eyes much of it is heavenly. It's a place that's safe. It's a place that he belongs. It's a place where his needs are met. It's a place that he can feel free to be himself. It's a place where he is loved.

The only other time I've been with someone who was anticipating going home like that was in my mother's last days before she died. I'd snuggle next to her in her bed--just like with Daniel, pillow-to-pillow and face-to-face. And we would talk about what heaven must be like.

The hospice nurse told me that she had seen many patients' last moments. She said often they would seem to see Jesus and loved ones who were already in heaven--sometimes even calling out people's names. She said one patient squealed, "Uncle Joe, I didn't expect to see you here!"

In my mother's last days she lost the ability to speak. She would communicate by blinking when I'd ask if she needed more morphine for the pain or ice chips for her drying mouth. I was bummed because I so badly wanted her to spill the beans on her first glimpses of heaven and the gathering of loved ones welcoming her. But she really didn't need words to share her first glimpse of her heavenly home. After her spirit left her body, the expression of pain embossed over her face was replaced with a beautiful expression of joy and peace. It was truly remarkable. There she was without control over her facial muscles just smiling away!

So I've been given the gift of watching a newly adopted child savor life's goodness and mercy and witnessed my mom meeting her Savior in the fullness of goodness and mercy. I think I have had the best seat in the house as far as Psalm 23:6 is concerned.

Choosing a dessert of song for this extravagant meal of scripture is a tough one, but I've decided to add the beautiful song "Born Again" by Third Day. Although it is talking about the overwhelming feelings when one first becomes a child of God, I think it also encompasses those feelings of joy after brokenness.

May goodness and mercy abound in your life.

Gratefully His,


Anonymous said...

Kathie, I loved your telling about your new son, and your mother's death. wow! When I was 8 years old I was always afraid to be with my grandmother at night because I just knew she would die from her bad heart condition, and I'd have to deal with it all alone. You see, my mom was a single parent, and we either lived with grandmother or I would stay with her for long periods of time. One night the LORD showed me that I would be with her when she died, and I would be standing the side of her bed, holding her hand, and I knew it was a high bed. She was always afraid that she'd die alone, and I'd reassure her that she wouldn't die unless I was with her because the LORD said so. Now to add to this, she told me she wouldn't die until I graduated from High School. So, life went on. When I was a senior in HS her heart became worse and for the second half of my HS year I only took my one remaining class and I'd stay with her. To make a longer story shorter, she died 1.5 weeks after I graduated HS, and I was the only one with her, standing at a high bed holding her hand (in a hospital and not her extra high bed she had at home), and I told her I'd see her in heaven with Jesus as she was drawing her last breathes, and she squeezed my hand like she had always raised me with when telling me to settle down! She squeezed her hand and passed into heaven with her beloved Jesus! His Word and Voice is Truth and wonderful! :)

Lucy said...

Wow what an amazing post. You are such a good writer.