The Final Moments
“Today begins a new battle. One I cannot even define yet.”
With these words a young man named Parker faces the impending death of his close friend and godfather, Ray Jack, while also continuing to process the sudden death of his father only eighteen months before.
Parker continues, “I have few words right now. Here's what I do know. I know Ray Jack loves me. I love him. I know the Lord loves Ray Jack and I know the Lord loves me. I know if the Lord takes Ray Jack soon, I will see him again, but I will miss him greatly. Ray Jack is and has been a strong voice in my life. A very dependable and honest voice. A voice of experience. A loving, caring voice.” http://www.racingtowardsjoy.com/2011/02/amazing-grace.html
While reading Parker’s story I thought of Joseph as he faced the impending death of his father, Jacob. When he was told, “Your father is ill,” Joseph took his two sons straight to their grandfather for what could be their last visit together.
Jacob’s eyesight was poor. “Who are these?” he asked Joseph of his two boys. “They are the sons God has given me.” Joseph replied. “Bring them to me so I may bless them,” Jacob said. Jacob blessed his grandsons, pronouncing God’s favor over them. He pulled the boys in close to him, embraced them, and kissed them.
Jacob said to his son, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children, too.” It was a great moment for the old man. He went on. “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers.”
Jacob is old and dying. Joseph is young and longing. He is longing for his father, for more time with him, for some of that “dependable and honest voice” that Parker has experienced with his good friend, Ray Jack, and hopes to draw from again.
God spared Jacob long enough to pronounce final words over all of his sons, and then the time came. When it did, the Bible says “Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him.” (Genesis 50:1)
Even though Jacob had died, his persona lived on in the lives of his boys. Jacob made his sons promise that they would not bury him in Egypt where he died, but would take him back to the home place and bury him in the family plot, or, in the case of Jacob, the family cave. They honored their father’s voice and fulfilled his request.
Joseph was blessed to have that warning about his dad. There was a narrow slice of time for him to be at his father’s side, embrace him one last time, and receive some more blessings from the strong voice he so respected and admired.
Parker was hoping for some of that same positive experience with his cherished mentor. He wrote, “I hope to discover how to cherish hours, minutes, and seconds. I hope to see another miraculous healing. If I must, I hope to discover how to say "see you later" to someone on their way to see the Father face to face.”
Though we may not have received that message about someone we love, the message that says, “the time is almost here,” we all have someone in our lives that is old, ill, or weak. Does Joseph and Parker’s experience prompt us to be at their side? To give them a call? If any old injuries or grievances persist, forgive them. Let the last moments be ones of blessing and honor. Use the final slices of time to revel in the dependable and honest voice that gave you strength in the past, and can continue to guide you in the future.
Note: Remember to check out Amazing Grace and Racing Towards Joy.