Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Linking Readers to the Eternal

Our congratulations to Melissa Hambrick! You are the winner of the Teeth and Bones contest. Contact Bonnie Grrrrrrove. (Smile.)

My cousin had a remarkable experience this week as her elderly mother was dying. She left the room for a moment, and the hospice workers came running to get her.

“You have to see this,” they said, and led her back into the hospital room. There my frail aunt lay, her arms up in the air. “She’s reaching up to heaven,” one of them said.

My sister in law recounts a sudden “great big grin” on the face of her elderly mother as she passed from life to eternity.

And my best friend witnessed the sudden passing of a good friend in college, who fell prey to a virulent infection. Just before the young man passed, he sat upright in the bed in the presence of several people, pointed to the sky and said, “Look! I see the Lord!”

These are stories told to me by people I know well, and trust. I think they illustrate the permeability of the thin veil between the seen and the unseen, between the temporal and the eternal. For just those moments, people on the cusp of eternity straddled two worlds.

Although these stories are true, the telling of them reminds me of good fiction. When Bonnie posted on Monday about beginnings of novels, and invited you to enter your opening paragraphs, I believe she was asking you how you introduce someone’s mind to the eternal, to ideas beyond themselves, to concepts that will tie them to their God.

We are the lifting of arms to heaven, so people can see that we are sure of an eternal reward. Through our writing, we are that great big grin of recognition of the One we love the most.

And we say it, either with words or with stories, “Look! I see the Lord!”


Anonymous said...

I always get such a shiver of anticipation when I hear stories like that of people's last moments in mortal bodies. Then my next thought is usually "I wish I hadn't behaved in such a disappointing manner yesterday," or some such. Thank the Lord His grace & mercy are so huge!

BK Jackson

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Very cool way to look at this.

And what a responsibility!
~ Wendy

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

My father-in-law had a similar experience and he also heard beautiful music. It's so comforting, isn't it? I also knew a man who had an out of body experience when he flat-lined in surgery. He said he didn't want to come back, it was so wonderful.
Thanks for the great visual to carry with us as we create stories, Latayne.

Anonymous said...

My brother in law's grandfather had an experience like that. As he was passing, he smiled. His wife said, "What are you smiling about?" He said, "I see Jesus. He's beautiful."

Bring tears to my eyes to think of how we, as writers, can reflect that beauty of Jesus to our readers. I pray that I can do that to His glory.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, Latayne. What an analogy. And what comfort to know that truly, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

Henrietta Frankensee said...

How I wish the English language had a word for the transition over the veil. Death is Christ's final enemy and should be regarded as a bad event. People without His hope have the correct impression.
What happens to a believer is not that at all. And I'm sure Jesus shows up at the side of 'almost believers' but they don't know to speak His Name or smile as they pass. I hope they learn quickly!
Writing beauty sometimes hurts in that awesome place associated with grief. Believers would recognise the upward call of that feeling immediately. 'Almost believers' must feel the nudge, the invitation to know Him now. As Wendy wrote, What a responsibility! To give that nudge in everything we do. To collectively accumulate the nudges in society until they overwhelm doubt.

Marian said...

I want my stories to exude the absolute truth that Jesus is the Truth.

Latayne C Scott said...

BK, there are a lot of events in my life that make me do a "reality check"-- to assure that I'm truly living on the reality of a coming time in heaven for myself. As Wendy said, it's a responsibility.

Debbie and Susie, thank you so much for sharing your stories. They are very touching.

Sharon, I was contrasting your observation that God regards the death of His people as something precious, while acknowledging that death is an enemy. It signifies the end result of sin in our lives, as Henrietta points out.

For all of us, facing death -- that of a loved one, that of ourselves-- brings us to acknowledge what is true, as Marian points out.

You have all blessed me with your observations today. Thank you!