Can you hear Jesus?

I have a friend Cathy who writes poetry. She sent me the following, and it got me to thinking about our final days here on earth — not the collective, eschatological FINAL DAYS on earth, but our individual final days…

Can you hear Jesus?

Can you hear Jesus?
His voice so gently calls.
I hear Him in the crashing waves,
In clear, bright mornings,
In darker days.

Can you hear Jesus calling?
He wants to own your heart.
Can you hear Him in the wind?
The fresh, cool breeze?
The Voice within?

Can I hear Jesus speaking?
Or is my heart too deaf?
Will I turn away from Him,
Let call grow dim, or
Let Him wash away my sin?

Can we hear Jesus speaking?
And let us meet one day,
On other side,
Without our pride –
He patiently awaits.

It’s the final two verses that cause me to pause.

I often wonder about dementia and Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that strip us of our independence. I wonder, is it God helping us to release the things we cling to in this life? Our self-sufficiency, our independence, our need for no one else? The things we hold so tightly, but so unconsciously, our fists clenched around them, not wanting to give up? That we have had from our earliest years, our toddlerhood, of “I can do it!”

Did you know that the number one reason people back physician assisted suicide is the fear of losing independence or becoming a burden?

In allowing us to become dependent, losing our pride and sometimes even letting go of even the memories that we cling to, is He helping us to become children as He asks us to be? Is He clearing away all the clutter and worldliness and pride we have accumulated and stripping us down to the essential us, no pretense, no bravado, no façade, so that we can focus more clearly on Him?

Two years ago I had the privilege of helping Margo, my former partner of 25 years, as she died to this world and into the loving arms of our Creator. She couldn’t remember a lot, she wasn’t always at the top of her form. During most of her life, her motto was, “It’s not how you feel, it’s how you look!” But that was gone. By then she needed help walking, and eating and toileting. She had been a proud woman, but the grace she showed was amazing. She took all the indignities with humility.

God has His plan. And He extends every opportunity to us to let Him bring us home.

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