Mom was here the other day fussing over Dave.
She asked, "Have you been taking your ALIVE vitamins?"
Dave replied, "No, I'm taking something better now."
Not being able to resist, I teased, "Yeah, he's taking RESURRECTION vitamins now."
Mom rolled her eyes and went home.
One of the best books that I've read this year is Lilith by George McDonald.
Everything in it has metaphorical meaning (oh delight). Truth, wrapped in many layers of imagery and beauty. One of my favorite themes throughout the book is the idea of sleeping vs. death. The protagonist, Mr. Vane, is brought into a mortuary-like room where corpse-like people are supposedly not dead, but asleep. He is shown his slab and told to lie down and sleep his sleep so that he could get up and do his work. He hesitates.
"But these are all dead, and I am alive!" I objected, shuddering.
"Not much," rejoined the sexton with a smile, "--not nearly enough!
Blessed be the true life that the pauses between its throbs are not
"The place is too cold to let one sleep!" I said.
"Do these find it so?" he returned. "They sleep well--or will soon. Of
cold they feel not a breath: it heals their wounds.--Do not be a coward,
Mr. Vane. Turn your back on fear, and your face to whatever may come.
Give yourself up to the night, and you will rest indeed. Harm will not
come to you, but a good you cannot foreknow."
Page and her husband came for a brief visit this weekend. She's been my dearest friend for over twenty years. We sat in front of the fire on Sunday and talked, laughter sitting in the seat beside us. At one point she mentioned her wedding and the picture of us at it. Then she mentioned how weird it was that I was even at her wedding because we hadn't really talked for almost two years before it.
After being inseparable in high school we went our own ways for college. We lost touch and somewhat lost sympathy with each other. I got married and she wasn't at my wedding. After I had been married about a year I decided to try and get in touch with her. I did and her news was that she was getting married. I told her I was coming.
Our friendship laid down, went to sleep, and I didn't know if it was even going to wake up. But it did, and a good came of it that I could not foreknow.
I think God asks this of our friendships sometimes. I think He asks it of our talents. I think He asks it of our dreams, hopes, ambitions.
Can you lay this down and trust that I will resurrect it in My time?
There are times when I say "this place is too cold to let one sleep" and I run from the shadows of the mortuary. But I seem to always come back eventually and I have seen much resurrected. Sleep is not death, but sleep mirrors death in it's complete submission to the unknown. Sleep is the consent to sail uncharted waters. Sleep is faith.
On Sunday afternoon, as Page and I lounged in front of the fire, Avonlea played the harp. Talking soon ceased and breathing deepened and we traded out conversation for slumber. Somehow, those moments of repose meant more than thousands of words could have. Because we've learned that sleep is not death and that resurrection is joy and that He is in control of all the laying downs and rising ups and that the cold will heal wounds.
Resurrection comes to all who lay down.
There is something better than just being alive.