I've been walking lately with a friend who is going to die any day now. She knows that her time is nearly done and her health is such that the Doctors have said there is no more to be done but to get ready, so she is getting ready.
It's always kinda been my contention that as christians age we should actually be looking more and more like Jesus, God's son. Like works of art in progress. That's because we have more time on the earth, and God has more time to work in us, to conform us to the image of his son, if we are willing.
Sadly many elderly people I know are not getting better. It's because you're working against gravity and time and this little three letter word, sin, I suppose. Life can be really tough sometimes and the things that you experience can make you angry or bitter or unbelieving. And so you go on, a little bit worse.
Then there are those like my friend who, in the best sense of the word, is a work of art. With grace and humility and an utter dependance on the lord, she faces each new day as a gift of love.
Today we were talking about her going home home, and she said she wanted me to be there leading the day, which I am glad to have a part in. So I teased her that I had saved an extra special funeral just for her, and she laughed hard, then became quite serious as she said, "Oh make sure I don't get the glory in it ok?" Make sure I don't get glorified and honoured and put up on a pedestal. Ok?
I knew what she meant, what she wanted.
Life can be a most blessed thing when we are servants and followers of an expert craftsman. When we obey and follow and listen to the One who has our lives in his hands. Life can be a most blessed thing, if we are willing.
Being willing involves laying down our lives, inviting Jesus to be our leader, our head, and following him to the ends of the earth, and the ends of our days.
And I suppose that's exactly what she's doing there in that little room of hers. Letting God shape her and form her so that she more and more looks like the one she follows after, Jesus Christ.