Echoes

Tomorrow morning, I will either still be here, or I won’t.

This applies to every one of us; no one knows just what the next hours will bring. But I am talking about the sore back I’ve got and the erratic but painful contractions I’m having. It’s too early, I say. This will all smooth over after a good night’s sleep, and, hey, any disappointment over this time not being IT will be dwarfed by that good night’s sleep!

But, man, my back hurts.

I pass a church often that has a wayside pulpit. The pastor has put many a thought provoking message there over the months and years. This week it says, BE A VOICE, NOT AN ECHO. Huh? I came away scratching my head. Just keeping to the surface of it, I suppose it is a decent saying. Be a leader, not a follower, be the solution not the problem, etc. But if I really think about it, I can’t agree. Not everyone has the opportunity to be out front, making the big plays, in the starring roles. Most of us will live ordinary, unnoticed lives, and will only have echoes of those gone before us to speak. Our task is to make sure we are listening to the right voices in our lives, and echoing accordingly. “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.”

All this analyzing made me think of one of my favorite hymns- O Thou In Whose Presence. The next to last verse transports us to the throne of God, with countless angels attentive to His WORD, catch that? The last line of the verse never fails to bring me to tears:

He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice,

Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.

That’s what we are here to be, now and for all time- the echoes of His praise.

W.C.E. (Worst Cold Ever)

This may be my new method of dating time: the days, months, and seasons since I suffered so mightily. Definitely a new common era.

All winter we were doing so well not getting sick. Maybe I had gotten too proud, too self congratulatory and needed knocked down a peg or ten. As I type, my throat is still in shock, leaving no room for any more complacency.

It is difficult to experience a cold while pregnant. There’s the coughing, in all its forms. The heavy cough can often stir up some nausea, and the later dry cough can catch one needing a bathroom quickly! At one point I was stranded on the toilet, coughing over a bucket in case I threw up, and only just made it there on my limited bladder tolerance.

But I have nothing to complain about compared to the man I just read about in a book called Alone. This man, Brett Archibald, fell over board in the Indian Ocean, and was stranded for 28 hours! So many people and events crossed to make his rescue possible, it was truly miraculous. During his time in the water, he came to a deeper faith in God- sometimes very angry with Him, but always with the knowledge that He was with him and responsible for his protection from many dangers, and eventual rescue.

Apparently Brett is on an inspirational speaking circuit, sharing his story with many. There’s something missing from his testimony, though: he acknowledges God as his Maker and sustainer, but there is no mention of Jesus as his Savior and Lord. I think that as he continues in a journey of true seeking, he will see this, God will show him, but for now, it is incomplete to share about God the way he has. A verse in my BSF lesson this week seemed to be making this point, among others:

For this reason Christ died, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living (Rom 14:9)

Jesus is central to everything. Anything else is just useless religion.

So, I’m at day 22 of this cold. If it reaches day 28, W.C.E., I may just have the makings of an impossible-survival book of my own.