Wednesday, March 10, 2010

holy experience

By Belinda

Today I will be at the funeral for Colleen Mills, Joyful Fox's sister-in-law, who passed away on Saturday. Her family kept a 7 week vigil at the hospital, praying for a miracle, but it was not to be.

On January 18th, she had suffered a heart arythmia at the start of an exercise class. Just 44; a sweet and kind person, she had a young family and husband who loved her.

There is a link to her sister Sylvia's blog, which chronicles their journey, in the upper right corner of this blog. Sylvia chose this beautifully appropriate scripture to announce Colleen's arrival in heaven:

Psalm 45:13,14:
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious
in her golden gown.
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king...

I confess that after the painful events of this week, I am suddenly aware of the privilege that it is to grow old.

On Tuesday night, after the death of Vu Pham, just 37, I woke up in the night, with the words of Psalm 23 on my mind. As I recited it from memory, verse 4 came alive with significance:

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;

The whole lovely and familiar psalm is a celebration of life: lived here on earth and in heaven.

We walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Death itself is just a shadow that we pass by on the way to the banqueting table of the King of kings.

Psalm 23 (New International Version)

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Our prayers are with the Mills and Fox families today, and also with the Pham and Thompson families.

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