Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Greeting cards can be purchased for nearly every possible event and occasion you can think of. “Get Well Soon” cards are more than plentiful.

Despite well-wishes or prayers for getting well, not all of us will get well soon--or at all. God really does heal today as Jesus did while on earth--but not always. And if we do get well through human or divine intervention, our healing will only be temporary. We are mortal. 

This is pretty heavy, but there is only one way to enter heaven. Jesus declared unequivocally, “I AM THE WAY.” But the manner in which each of us arrives at the gate of heaven varies. We get there either through illness, age related disorders, accident, martyrdom, being killed, or dying "of natural causes" in one's sleep. (Committing suicide is not acceptable.) There is one exception to entering heaven through the death route and that is in the end times at the return of Jesus Christ. We can't, however, choose the manner of our inevitable demise.

One-size-fits-all “Get Well” cards are not realistic. “But we have to talk about cheerful stuff. We can't be morbid,” some of us may counter. “Keep it light. We don't want to scare people, discourage them, or cause them to lose hope. We sure don't want to talk about death—that's a downer!” Yes and No. True and False. It's a Both/And situation.

 Our society seems to be in cultural denial about human mortality. If you avoid talking about it, it apparently doesn't exist. Nevertheless, there is no escape route or pretense that death only happens to someone else. All of us are terminal regardless of age or station in life. This world is not our home; we are pilgrims just traveling through, some more rapidly than others.

This past year it seems that I have had more than usual the number of close friends and relatives who passed into eternity. Last year at this time death wasn't even on the fringes of their minds. At this very moment I have many more friends who are at death's door. Some may recover but the prognosis of others may be only a few more weeks or months. Generic “Get Well” cards are not appropriate. There is little time to waste on unrealistic recovery talk if they are getting close to laying aside their “earth suit,” their body of flesh.

Some may be reluctant to admit it but they might be fearful of the unknown and longing for someone to have down-to-earth “Going Home” discussions with them. Many people avoid such talk because they are uncomfortable with spiritual conversation. It might help to role play what that final hallway to the door into God's presence will be like. The fact is, when we actually arrive at the point where our lives are ebbing away, our minds might no longer be clear because of medication, and our awareness may be slipping. 

Isn't it NOW, while we are still lucid, that is our prime time to grapple with what we want to say to loved ones, and what witness to our faith we want to leave behind while we are still able? Above all, each of us should want to make sure while we are of sound mind whether we are headed in the right direction. We want to know what heaven is all about, what Jesus said about it, how to get there, and what Scripture teaches about eternity.

Those of us who are Christians are preparing to face the moment toward which all of our lives have been heading—our launch into the new spiritual dimension where we will spend the eternity that Jesus promised. Shouldn't we be eager to put on the immortal, to exchange corruptible, weak, and painful flesh for the incorruptible? To experience all the marvelous, incredible things beyond man's imagination? Our expectation should overshadow any apprehension or dread. It is time for us to joyfully anticipate actually seeing the Beloved One in Whom we trusted for a lifetime, who never let us down, who promised He was preparing a Place for us “in His Father's House.” 

Along with some light encouraging talk, why shouldn't we talk openly about all those urgent eternal matters too? Shouldn't someone design a card with a cheerful “Bon Voyage!” motif? A card that will focus on the ecstatic expectation ahead of Seeing God, the Welcome Celebration, and joyful Reunions that await the faithful children of God whose spirits will soon take off and fly out of our sight into a new life of greater reality than they ever experienced? 

Jesus didn't promise that all of us would “get well soon.” He gave us the greatest, the very best promise of all: “He that believeth in Me shall never die!” Can we doubt the sure words of the One who created the universe with all its galaxies and far flung stars, Whom the Almighty Father sent to redeem the people on this tiny speck of a blue Planet? Can't we trust His perfect and marvelous plan for our life after life?
Hallmark, you're missing the boat with those exclusive, well-meaning, but sugary, sentimental and generic “Get Well” cards. There's something better than getting well—or perhaps "getting well" needs a better definition. You need a new marketing plan that will target all those soon-to-be space travelers who just can't wait to lift off from earth's launching pad on their Heavenly Journey!


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