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What if we’re dying and we don’t even know it?

It’s just an introductory song to get us going on a Sunday morning. High energy.

I was broken and you healed me…
I was dying and you gave me life,

Yeah, that ole God is always helping us out in our troubles. It was just killing me, we say. I was dying out there, we say. I was at the end of my rope, we say. We are masters at overstatement. Scary though, how overstatement can dull reality. People who are really broken and truly near death are not so casual. When we’re out of options, God isn’t. That’s the moment when “I was dying and you gave me life” has meaning. If you’ve had one of those moments, you know it.

But I’m looking around at all sorts of people who are dying. Not just the we’re-all-gonna-die some-day dying, but people who are absolutely gasping for air in their daily lives. They are swimming as fast as they can. Running as far as they’re able. Applying brain power and will power. Exerting all the force they can muster. They’re breathing hard, but they’re getting life done, by golly.

The scary thing is, they don’t know they’re dying. They think this is a stage or a season or a diligence that needs doing. Giving up this way of life is unthinkable. That would just kill them.

But God through Jesus says there’s life after death. And I don’t think He just has the eternal in mind. The death He’s referring to may feel very much like what we call life. When we give it up, that is invite in all the options, consider possibilities that “would just kill us” to engage, the new is right there.

The only sure death is to stick with what’s killing us. And that truth is obscured by the advice darkness gives to “just keep your heads down and your nose to the grindstone.” Darkness knows that looking up and giving up invites in the breeze of new.

Hey, God may not mean for us to stop doing what we’re doing. He may just be trying to get our attention. “Lookie! You’re alive after all!” Now, let’s get this moving in my direction.

And that’s just the beginning.

10-4, Message Received

“Okay” “Understood” “Got your transmission.” That’s what today’s date means according to The expression, it says, came about in Citizens’ Band (CB) radio lingo where  common phrases were represented in “ten codes.” They were often used by law enforcement officers for brevity and clarity of communication. I, of course, learned them on tv cop shows. Apparently, I am showing my age. I had to explain this to my 22 year old daughter.

Still, I chuckled at that thought when I wrote the date in my journal today. I wrote it AFTER I had already written several things that occurred to me on waking. I often do this – scribble down whatever is bubbling up and then go back to date it.

Apparently, my mind is still reeling around a particularly difficult event our community experienced recently – the death of a family of four. Reports say that the Dad, Al, distraught over the condition of the economy, politics, community and personal matters, took the life of his wife and 2 teen sons. It is so tragic.

Apparently, I took the plight of this family on my run this morning. It brought to mind a similar circumstance from my life. My mother took her life 30 years ago as she suffered with depression. She wasn’t thinking clearly and wanted to save us, her family, from enduring the weight of the burden she saw herself to be.  A friend and pastor later suggested to me that this act, inexplicable by us in our “right” minds, was the most loving act she could conceive of.

And then I thought of Al. Father and husband. He must have been considering taking his life. As I considered his plight and speculated on his thinking, this phrase lept to mind: “Don’t leave them home alone.” It’s not safe to leave your children defenseless against the bad that might happen to them. Clearly, Al no longer saw his life and home a safe place. Could it have been that it was his love for his family that, confused by depression, convinced him to take this final act.

Walking up the steps after my run, it almost seemed as if this was a message from Al, now that all is clear and he is safely home. Please tell them, I didn’t want to leave them home alone.

Sorry my posting today is a bit grim. But it’s what God gave me. 10-4.

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