I sit in the balcony at church. It’s like being in a bird’s nest. You can see everything from above. Like when the fellow in the ninth row from the front collapses the way one fellow did yesterday. One minute he was there, standing Marine proud. The next he was splayed out on the pew as the doctor in the choir robe hastened to make his way past the gathering crowd.
Pastor led us in prayer as someone else called paramedics.
That alone impressed me.
I thought back to 9-11 and how so many of us failed to issue that call in that moment — personally and politically. We could have, should have stepped up and said, “Let’s bow our heads in this moment & pray for our fellow man.”
The man down below was out for quite awhile. Maybe five minutes. He sat back up before the paramedics arrived. His coloring was awful. That yellowish-gray common among the sickly. His family followed the paramedics out. The doctor returned to his place among his choir members.
Our service continued.
“Protect us from the dangers we bring upon ourselves,” Pastor prayed later.
A good prayer, I thought.
He preached on John 3:16.
“For,” he said, “means because.”
And “So means in the same way.”
Because God in the same way loved the world, he gave his only son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Which got me to thinking about death. Again. There is a difference between what Christ experienced in death and what we will experience.
He rose on the third day.
Body and all.
Shook off those grave clothes.
Combed his fingers through his hair and went to pay his friends a visit.
I’d feel better about death I think if I knew that on the third day I would be able to rise up out of that casket and laugh with my friends again.
It might scare them.
But I’d enjoy it more.
I understand that we have the promise of that. But a body that’s been resurrected after only a few days in the grave has a better chance of regeneration than one that’s been there throughout the ages. That’s the disconncerting part for me.
I want people to know they don’t have to be in that grave any longer than three days.
“It’s the decaying process,” I said to Tim last night. “That bugs me. Jesus never went through that.”
“He goes through it everyday in other ways,” Tim replied. “He watches the living decay.”
Before the service was over, I could see the woman nodding in the pew on the right side of the church. Men on either side of her were fanning her.
Still, she went out.
Like a burnt bulb.
Slumped over in that pew.
The doctor in the choir robe was walking in the recessional when they grabbed him this time. Somebody pulled out their cell phones and called the paramedics.
Pastor led us in another prayer. This one for our fainting sister.
“Happens a lot in this church,” said the gal sitting next to me. “We have an elderly population here. It unnerved me at first but now I’m used to it.”
I fell out in church once. In Seattle.
But I didn’t faint.
I was slain in the Spirit.
That’s a story for another day.
Until then, think upon these things.