Shirley’s Soliloquy # 205
From the dark, gray, dreary weather, we broke through the clouds into bright blue skies and brilliant sunshine! The contrast was startling! It made my heart skip a beat in the awesome wonder of the marvelous reality of it all! It brought to mind one the most remarkable experiences of my life.
We had boarded the aircraft heading for England. The weather definitely left something to be desired since the forecast was quite downcast and undesirable. But we were in high spirits contemplating our trip and the reunion with dear friends and acquaintances in Europe. So my mind was not on the weather at all, but on what lay ahead.
As the aircraft was ascending into the dark clouds, I thought how wonderful it was to be climbing so quickly into the air and emerging into the brilliant sunshine. My mind flashed back to almost 12 years ago. I had gone into the hospital for a catherization. However, I must have had complications. My husband told me the doctors had told him that I had had several cardiac arrests. They didn’t give him much hope for my survival. At his urging, they persisted in trying to restart my heart. I am told that even though they were successful, my chest still had to remain open from Friday to Monday afternoon. This was to allow the swelling caused by the electrical shocks to decrease so I could be closed up again.
Of course, I knew nothing about all this. To this day I have no memory of it, only of what my husband, daughter, different people, and the doctors told me. But there was one thing I do remember. I remember rising into the sky just like that aircraft did. I remember suddenly in the distance seeing a brilliant brightness drawing me upward. As I drew closer, I saw it was JESUS! My heart welled up with happiness within me! It really was Him! Finally! Those were my thoughts. Then I remember as I came up to Him, I collapsed at His feet and He surrounded me with wonderful peace. It was as if He were wrapping His loving arms around me. I lay there contented. How long? I don’t know. I had no idea of time at all. But I felt safe.
Then I remembered going back down, just as if it were an aircraft gliding back to the ground. The next thing I knew, my husband was at my side, saying things, strange things, about it ‘being over, I was OK now.’ I didn’t understand what he was talking about. But then I realized what was happening. I wasn’t with Jesus any longer. I do admit I was extremely disappointed. But I knew that it wouldn’t be nice for my husband and family to hear that I had died. I know I was quite drugged at the time, so I’m not sure what I was saying. But I think I told them I had been with Jesus! Later they told me I was smiling from ear to ear! I know I was really excited and wanted to tell people about it. Some people looked happy for me, some seemed skeptical. It really didn’t bother me, because I knew that what had happened was as real as the sun above the clouds. To this day, it has given me no fear of death and a wonderful assurance of the prospect of being with Jesus after this life on earth is over.
So back to our recent flight to Europe, when we broke through those dark, dreary, rainy clouds into the brilliant sunshine and blue skies, I realized why my heart skipped a beat! It reminded me of my experience those many years ago. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Shirley’s Soliloquy # 206
It sounds strange, but this week I’ve thought about my head in a different way!
The ladies Bible study that I am leading is studying Colossians. How many times have I read this book? I don’t honestly know. It has been a lot of times. But this past week, it struck me in a new way. In fact, that was a comment of one of the ladies. She said no matter how many times she has read the Bible, she always finds something new in it!
So my mind caught the 18th verse of Colossians, chapter 1. It reads (NLT),
“Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.”
Yes, I know that. I’ve read it and heard it countless times. But this week, it hit me in a new way. It became real to me! I began to make a personal analogy. I realize that my head has thoughts and ideas. But my head can’t do anything about those thoughts and ideas. It has to send signals to my body. Then my body has to carry out these thoughts and ideas.
I realized what a wonderful metaphor that is of Christ being the head of His body, the church. He is the One who is the brains behind all I should be doing. He is the One who has the final say in my actions. I am a member of His body! I am to carry out his signals!
Just as my body cannot function without my head, I should not be able to function without Christ. It’s amazing that He has chosen to limit Himself to people just like me to carry out His great plans! He is the head and the brains!
The Apostle Paul continued with this metaphor in the book of Ephesians. He wrote,
“We will speak the truth in love,
growing in every way more and more like Christ,
who is the head of his body, the church.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly.
As each part does its own special work,
it helps the other parts grow,
So that the whole body is healthy
and growing and full of love.”
Then I thought of those people who have disabilities. My niece, for example, has spina bifida. Her head is wonderfully normal! It’s just that the lower part of her body isn’t responding to the signals from the head. So it has limited all of her activities. She is an intelligent, active, busy person, but part of her body isn’t working the way it should. It isn’t responding to the signals from her head. So that makes her handicapped.
I have to ask myself how I am responding to the One who is my head, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Am I heeding Paul’s words written to the Romans Christians?
“So use your whole body as an instrument
to do what is right for the glory of God.”