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I’m Already Dead

Finding myself obsessed with death one too many times, I decided to investigate what my Christian faith taught on the topic. Reading all I could about the afterlife was helpful, but something was still nagging at me.  I still felt humanly alive and couldn’t fathom the reality of one day enduring the death of this body. I don’t mean to sound so somber, but it’s that elephant in the middle of the church that we seem to dance around but never investigate fully. Seems it’s just a bit too uncomfortable for our 21st Century minds to focus upon. But I tend to be more of a left –brainer so the conversation was really important to me. So let me share what I found out, and then what deeply affected my soul.

First, my deep seated death-fears were realized during a session of prayer. The Lord revealed a particular incident when my grandpa passed away in my fifth year. I had the privilege of attending the wake at the distance of the hallway. Peering into the mysterious room, there my grandpa lay and there my mom was weeping and wailing loudly. Arriving at home after that traumatic scene, nothing more was said about my grandpa…nothing that I can remember anyway.  This was the beginning of a death-fear imprint on my young psyche. But during the prayer time, God revealed His light emanating directly from that casket, as Jesus Himself sat at the head of it. He taught me that Light overcomes darkness and that Light has to do with Life and darkness is equated with death. I seriously saw the “light of the glory of God in the face of Christ” in that sweet image.

I also learned, as 1 Corinthians 15 teaches, that we are not who we will be. That might sound simplistic, but looking to the natural, I saw that seeds are planted in the ground (buried) and when they come to life they are a completely new entity but with the same DNA as when they began. This is good news to me because it shows me that (as Pastor Alan Wright verbalized), God is not going to trash us! We will be our self-same selves, yet with a glory that has yet to be displayed! Holding a sunflower seed in one hand and holding a glorious sunflower in the other will pretty much exemplify this concept.

Then there’s the two days before my mom passed away. I was mindlessly folding laundry when a vision so deep and profound entered my mind, I wasn’t sure if it was a dream or actually happening in front of my face. I saw a baby being born. I mean straight down the birth canal, the pain and pressure, the confusion and the celebration. The vision stopped abruptly and I didn’t question it until two days laterwhen I heard those sour words coming across the phone line, “mom died”. After the whirlwind of visitors and food and memories passed, I paused to read the sympathy cards. One in particular took my breath away as the baby-birth example was stated simply on the card. Clearly I knew God had spoken to me of the mystery of birth and of death. Both are painful. Both are a journey bearing an incredible amount of stress. Both are mysterious. Yet, both emerge on the other side with wonder anew. How can we explain to a womb-wrapped child what wonder awaits on the other side? It would be impossible for such limited brain capacity to comprehend. I believe in the same way we cannot possibly fathom the perfections of heaven, the sheer delight of finally arriving, the splendor of seeing the current Unseen, and relief from this painful journey called Life and Suffering. Analogy accepted.

But upon studying the book of Romans recently, I saw something I had never seen before. This is what it says in Romans 8:10-11, “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

I’m already dead! What good news! I no longer have to worry about dying because this body of death has undergone a major transplant! My spirit is alive and that is what counts! And the Healer Who performed this miraculous surgery will give me a new model in His perfect timing (though I believe at that point I will step out of time…another topic for another day).

So, because of God’s tender mercy towards me and all His children, we no longer have to fear that leg of the journey. He’s got us covered. I see myself as a seed, a baby, and spirit, all engulfed in His marvelous light!

Now, that is a base to truly live out of, and THAT is something to obsess about.

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Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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