Shaken and Stirred
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works … and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
“Here I am, with my hair all fallen out, months to live, and my only desire is to live to see my daughter graduate from high school,” said the dying woman, reacting to the visitor who had just left as I walked in. “And this woman is sitting in my living room complaining because her kid got the wrong coach for travel soccer.” No sooner had she invited me into her interior monologue, then she softened the story by saying, “I don’t mean to sound insensitive. I used to care about those things too. I’d never say any of that out loud.”
“But thank God you just did!” I said, for I needed a reminder that the dying know things the rest of us do not. For one thing, they know they are not immortal.
“If you could say anything, without fear of hurting our feelings, what would you say?” I asked, because I now realized that her last visitor could have been any one of us.
“Don’t get so upset about the small things. Take notice of all that is good,” she said. “But words don’t really do it. Mostly, I just want to grab you all by the shoulders and shake you!”
“Consider me shaken and stirred,” I replied. This amazing woman, so afraid of being insensitive, was no such thing. She was highly sensitive to the eternal truths that blasted away the banalities of life and exposed my secret worries for what they were—relatively small things—as the Day for us all draws near.
Holy Spirit, stir up your love in my living and your truth before my dying. Amen.
Lillian Daniel serves as Conference Minister with the Michigan Conference UCC. She is the author of Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To and When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough.