A couple of days ago, I finished up The Potluck Club, Book 1 by Linda Shepherd. It was entertaining enough. Not a great novel by any means, but it held my attention and passed the time.
There was one theme though that struck a chord with me and it's been weighing on my mind. It seems right now in my life, more than any other time I can remember, I'm caught up in the cycle of birth and death. Obviously, birth is on my mind with the arrival of this baby girl getting closer and closer. But it's not just me. A couple of girlfriends and I were conversing and we've discovered that just over 10% of our graduating class is pregnant right now. (Well, we were, one friend had her baby earlier this week.) And at least two of us have had babies over the past 6 months. That's a lot of births.
On top of that, everywhere I look, there are pregnant women. At least two co-workers are pregnant, a co-worker's wife and my friend, Amanda is also expecting. Babies are coming in every which direction. A baby boom of the modern age.
Juxtaposed to all the births though is death. I am getting to the age, and my friends along with me, where people we love are reaching their time to move into the next life. My Mammaw hasn't been doing so well these last few months, moving in and out of being in the now. My dearest friend, Tamara, is living through this as well with her grandparents. A dear, Godly family that I grew up with is in the midst of losing their father and husband from brain cancer. And as I posted a few days ago, a former classmate, Sara is now beginning her battle with Stage 4 colon cancer.
Birth and Death. We rejoice at the births, but being the humans we are, we find it hard to celebrate the deaths. We are selfish beings and it's hard to lose those we love.
Back to The Potluck Club. One of the characters is diagnosed with cancer in the novel and she and another character discuss healing. The character with cancer is a pastor's wife and she discusses the five types of healing. Four of the types most of us could come up with.
The first type is our body's natural healing process. Anti-bodies and such that fight off those bad germs that float around.
The second type is miraculous. God touching the afflicted with his hand and without explanation of modern science or medicine, the person is healed.
The third type is the medical profession. The doctors and nurses who spend years studying and then countless hours working to heal the sick.
The fourth type is a healing of the spirit. When you accept your ailment, grow and learn.
The fifth though, is hard to accept for most people, but in actuality may be God's greatest gift.
For those that are so ill they can no longer function. When quality of life is gone. When your body is so tired, you just want to rest. God then steps in and gives us death. The ultimate healing. One that results in a new body and life that's not burdened with the troubles of this world.
It's so, so hard for those of us left behind to not be saddened by the loss of a loved one. But looking at death from this perspective may just give an ounce of peace and comfort. Lately, I've talked to quite a few of my friends and we'll all say, "Getting old sucks." But maybe it doesn't so much. It's a lot to take in, but in an effort of continuing my walk with God, maybe I should start looking at getting old as a blessing, rather than a curse.