Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘creation’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

Read Full Post »

Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, is approximately 110 acres in size – a country within a country. Surrounded by high walls, security check points checking passports and many policia, it was very clear we were going into another country. Our tour guide was great, and once again, he was Wendy’s and my personal guide so I had every opportunity to ask as many questions as I wanted to (and I tend to ask a lot).  He took us everywhere using ramps and elevators while he pushed my wheelchair along. I felt extremely spoiled (which was nice for both Wendy and me). The central palace courtyard was beautiful and filled with well maintained gardens and sculptures. The original courtyard is now bisected by the Vatican Library. One modern and interesting sculpture we saw in the upper courtyard was a piece done by Arnaldo Pomodoro which consists of two concentric spheres, one inside of the other. The inner sphere represents the earth and the outer sphere represents Christianity. The picture I took doesn’t do it justice but you can at least see it. We also went all the way to Rome to see a Maine pinecone!  The Pigna, a large Roman bronze pinecone (originally part of a fountain).

Leaving the courtyard we started down the very long Vatican Library. This walk led us through the many centuries of Popes, the summer palace, and ended by entering the Sistine Chapel. The very long walk down through the summer palace main corridor, known as the Library, was filled with beautiful paintings, sculptures, artifacts, marble columns and walls that can no longer be made because the red and yellow marbles have been quarried out, and even Moon rocks donated to the Vatican from President Richard Nixon. The surrounding gardens were beautiful and also contained centuries of history. And exiting the end of the summer palace, we entered the Sistine Chapel. Pictures in school history books certainly do it no justice. And the two pictures that Wendy took (before we were told not to), shows none of the splendor we saw. Michelangelo, the most famous of artists that worked on the chapel, painted the 12,000 sq ft ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially the entire back wall which depicts The Last Judgment, painted between 1535 and 1541, is considered by many to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievement. Describing everything in detail is impossible, but all four walls and the ceiling work together to create an account of man from creation to God’s final judgment. Now for all of you art scholars out there that may know this, I did not, if you look at the famous fresco of The Creation Of Adam which dominates the center of the 65 ft. high ceiling, you will see behind the image of God a banner in the shape of a bisected human brain. At that time any dissection of the human body was taboo. Our guide told us that Michelangelo did that intentionally which represented the mind of God put into His creation of Adam.

Retracing our steps back through the summer palace we saw an incredible spiral staircase. It is designed with two spirals, one for going up and the other down. This use to be the primary entrance from the street so I was very glad when our guide brought us to an elaborate elevator complete with seats in it! Although the “down” aspect of the spiral could have been great fun in my wheelchair!

When we left Vatican City, we met up with the rest of our group and headed to our hotel for the night. By now we had been awake for about 30 hours and needless to say all of us were getting sleepy. We ate a delicious dinner in a large banquet room at the hotel and then gladly retreated to our rooms for much needed rest. But even then, eager for the next day when we would see the Roman Coliseum.

 

Read Full Post »