Night Is Coming

Night Is Coming

When death draws near for loved ones, we comprehend the truth God whispers to his people. “Work as long as it is day. Night is coming when no man can work.”We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day;
night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 9:4–5

Hiram and I are back from visiting family in Arizona. The weather was perfect, and knowing we’d escaped the sub-zero temperatures in Iowa made it feel even better. Part way through the week, my sister and I road-tripped to southern California to visit an elderly relative. I’ll spare you the description of our barefoot walk on a sunny beach in January the morning after we arrived, and skip straight to Muriel, the elderly relative.

She’s 87, sharp as a tack, and an amateur historian who has researched and compiled the story of her grandfather (my great-great-grandfather) during the Civil War. But, her sight is failing rapidly, as is her stamina and mobility. All three of us knew this might be our last visit together, so our hugs were extra long and hard when we said good-bye. Muriel was still waving when our car turned the corner. Leaving her was hard, but she is a woman of deep faith, not afraid of walking through the door from this life into the next.

The Monday after Hiram and I returned to cold and snowy Iowa, an email arrived from a friend in a nearby town. She’s also a writer, and I thought she was confirming the let’s-talk-about-writing coffee date we’d scheduled. Instead, this active, fit mom of three boys (ages 8–13) wrote to cancel because she had just been diagnosed with cancer. She and her husband hoped to know more after meeting with the doctor later in the week. Her note ended with these words. “We’re trying to just do the normal life things, and trust that God knows what he’s doing. I don’t doubt him. I really don’t. I don’t like what he’s doing, but I don’t doubt him.”

The tears that never came while saying good-bye to Muriel fell hard and fast after hearing from my young, talented, and very dear friend. My heart broke for her husband, for her sons, for the fight she faces, and for the words she will not be writing during her treatment. Even though my friend and I are certain of the glory waiting for her if she loses her fight, I am praying she will live to see her boys become men and husbands and fathers, and to experience the joy of being a grandma before she walks through that door.

Like Muriel and my young friend, I don’t doubt what God is doing. I know that though his thoughts are not my thoughts and his ways are not my ways, he can be trusted. I know we pay more attention to God’s voice when health fails and life grows short. We better understand his truths when we realize our days on this earth are numbered. The work he has for us to do on this side of death’s door will end.

When death draws near for those we love, we finally comprehend the truth God whispers into the ears of all his children. “Work as long as it is day. Night is coming when no man can work.” As we cry out to him in our grief and through our tears, we realize that our time on earth is precious and finite. And we redouble our efforts and redeem the time by doing his work with passion and purpose. Until the day he calls each of us to walk through the door of this world into the next.

Is It Time to Up our Homeowner Insurance?

Is It Time to Up our Homeowner Insurance?

The other day, II had lunch with a friend who’s a junior in high school. On the way to our favorite Chinese restaurant, we drove by the former site of Bryant Elementary School. It used to look like this:Bryant school

Now it looks like this:Bryant Lot

We both commented about how weird it was for the building where we had many good memories (I used to teach there) obliterated.

The conversation made me think of what’s happened to the other workplaces in my past. Sky Ranch for Boys, where Hiram and I worked from the late 70s through the early 80s closed a few years back. Several of those buildings have been bought and moved to different locations–a rather disconcerting thought.

One of the tan and brown buildings where I taught in Camp Crook from 1980–1985 has been replaced with a new grey building. Which needed to be done, But if they chose to replace only one building, couldn’t they have chosen the one I taught in for the least number of years?Camp Crook School

Also, my Grace Community Church Director of Discipleship and Assimilation digs–back in the days when the church rented downtown office space in the basement of the Livery–is now the kitchen of The Good News Room Coffee Shop. The owners have done a bang-up job with the space and decor, but it’s strange to order a cup of coffee and think, “Hmmm, right there where the sink is? That’s where my desk used to be.

Good News Coffee Shop Kitchen

All these changes take some getting used to, but I’m adjusting. Except for one thing. Considering the track record of my former workplaces and the fact that these days I work from home, do you think it would be wise for us to up our homeowner’s insurance?