Living in the Shadow of Death


Yesterday, I held my neighbor, shaking and sobbing, two hours after her beloved Tom breathed his last breath.  His story is too familiar: cancer, treatment, remission, cancer return, gone.  They were prepared for him to go in the fall, but not now. 

This morning as my husband sat up in bed, I pulled him back.  Just a little while longer.  I dread the day that we say our final good-byes, this man whom I have loved for 34 years.   My neighbor’s loss seems a vicarious dress rehearsal, a needed reminder of what is ahead. 

How do I live in the shadow of death? 

Trusting.  My hope and confidence are in the Lord.  I don’t want to be fearful, skittish, anxious, neurotic.  No man knows his time.  All I know is that when deep waters come, the strength will be provided. 

Savoring.  Each day, each conversation, each moment is a gift. 

Expressing.  The older we get, the more we affirm our love for one another.  In the middle of random moments he will say, Love you, babe.   I Love You is a good way to send a child out the door, end a phone conversation, say good night.  Even better is the conversation starter: You know what I love about you?

Confessing  Both confessing our sins and confessing our faith.  Why wait?

Forgiving  Leave no room for pettiness.  Funny thing, we see it in others but are blind to it in ourselves.  Put the best possible construction on actions or attitudes you don’t understand. 

Enjoying   There is truth, beauty and goodness surrounding us.  This is my Father’s world.  

Obeying   For me, it always comes to trust and obey.  There is no other way.


6 thoughts on “Living in the Shadow of Death

  1. Oh, Carol, you KNEW I needed this right now, didn’t you? After losing my friend to cancer so recently and now Joan getting worse and worse….I am crying as I write this. THANK YOU.

  2. Wow–powerfully and well said.The knowledge that “when deep waters come, the strength will be provided” has gotten me through many hard times. Thanks for this beautifully and succinctly phrased message. Blessings on you for sharing.

  3. This is just lovely.  Thank you for the reminder.  P.S.  Did you know that this post was featured on that Xanga page that does features?  I was logging in and saw it there.

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