My reflection study this morning is gathered around the subject of Death and Dying. The source of my readings are from the July/Aug edition of Sharing magazine provided by the National Order of St. Luke organization. At some point in our lives we all must experience loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of our own health and possibly impending mortality, or the loss of a friend. What can we say to individuals suffering and grieving? This summer my husband Roy's experience in CPE brought him closer to many such scenarios of families and individuals suffering a loss, while working as a chaplain at Morton Plant Hospital. Many a day he would call me to release some of the day's stress and agony of emotions that attached themselves to him. When one experiences a sudden loss, it can be devastating especially to someone who is not spiritually prepared. As we come face to face with death, it may be that you or I may also have twinges of guilt. Reviewing times in our lives at our own sins and failures, our short comings float up and spear us with the wonder of what chance do we have before the judgement. What am I hiding in my heart that is prohibiting me from freedom in salvation? Are we holding on to grudges against others for the sake of building a wall of protection for our feelings? I have felt the pain of treason against my heart that feels as if my chest will explode from the tightness.
In truth, no matter what we have done, through repentance our slate is marked clean in God's eyes. Through the blood of Christ Jesus dying on the cross, we are forgiven. Our blemishes are gone. Jesus died with an out pour of love "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." If one day, we hope to die in peace we must open our heart in love and learn to forgive those that have held us in the bondage of pain and hurt. Even if that forgiveness is needed upon our self. Simple theory " Hate the sin, Love the sinner." Simple in practice, maybe not, but attainable through prayer and love.
Release us Lord, with inner healing that is manifested in us only through you, even if our prayers seem unanswered in the physical sense. We believe your promise of an ultimate healing in eternity.
May the Lord bless you and keep you now and forever. Amen.