Death was no longer at the door...it had entered the room. The dear lady was passing from this life. Due to some medical devices intended to help her, she was unable to speak to her beloved family. But she was fully aware of each one’s presence.
Within moments, her heart would stop beating. She would slip away from us. I imagined myself lying there unable to say anything to the dearest on earth to me. I shuddered within at the difficulty of it all. Then it dawned on me, and I wanted her to know that we all knew she could not now speak...that in a very real sense she didn’t have to...that we already knew what she would say if she could...that she had already spent a lifetime communicating her love.
Her devotion, her smiles, her sacrifices, her labors, her encouraging words, throughout all the years of her life had already said it most convincingly. And now, when she could no longer speak, it was okay. She didn’t have to. Though I know she would have, if she could have. Love, by its very nature, cannot get finished. There would be one more word...one more hug...one more kiss...one more unmeasured sacrifice...one more uncounted gift.
That night made me think of many things. It made me think of how I want my family to know right now...every day...without a doubt...how much I love them...how much they mean to me...what joy they are to me...what a privilege I feel in simply knowing them...how grateful to God I am for them...each one of them in their beautiful uniqueness.
I want to come to my deathbed with my family and friends knowing, even if I am unable to say it then, that I love them to the full measure. I want them to feel, when I can’t say or prove my love anymore, that I don’t need to...that I’ve already done it.
I also thought about how many ways God has been busy saying “I love you” to us all. The beauty, harmony and glory of creation...the gift of life...the treasure of the Bible...the triumph of truth...the defeat of evil...the “manger” event...the silent years in Nazareth...the three and a half years of going about doing good...the old, rugged cross...the empty tomb...the offer of forgiveness and new beginnings...the continual intercession on our behalf...are absolutely convincing proofs of God’s love for each of us.
Every beat of our hearts...every breath we take...every morsel of food...every noble thought...every thing of beauty with which we come into contact is further demonstration of His love. He has exposed us to unimaginable beauty so that we can never be satisfied with sin’s ugliness again.
Even if He chose to never say it again, He wouldn’t have to, would He? Surely we are completely convinced. But He keeps on saying it...showing it...His love is not finished! That’s why ours isn’t either.
Now what are we needing to do about this?
Submitted and written by Doug Oakes, minister, Woodlawn Church of Christ, Zanesville; email firstname.lastname@example.org