I am currently documentary obsessed. Once the kids are in bed, I flip through the Netflix listings and think “No Way!? I can learn about that?” And some are actually not that interesting, but then there are those. Those that leave you sitting there, with your mouth dropped open, in total disbelief that this moment was captured on film, and you had never heard of it before! How is it that millions of people have seen that one video with the cat, or the other one with the laughing dog, but yet, I had never heard of this moment, this unbelievable moment. I have had a few of those lately. I used to be afraid to watch them. You know the ones. Like if I watched a movie with conjoined twins, then it could happen to me, well, not me exactly, but you know what I mean. However, since I am going through this unusually long period of being “not pregnant” I thought it was safe. I have also watched so many incredible docs on autism. One in particular where this man types out, since he is non verbal, that he is trapped, trapped in this body that will not obey him. I never knew that. I can’t imagine. Me who cannot stop talking or thinking and occasionally doing both at the same time. To be stuck inside my own body.
Then, there are the twins. I have seen several of these and each one touched me in such a different way. The last one, two girls, joined at the head, separated, finally, after years of painstaking surgeries, infections and set backs. Two year old Trishna spoke almost immediately after waking up from the 36 hour surgery, WHAT?? I know. Talking!You have to watch this one. but Krishna, her sister, well it was going on 3 days now, and almost no movement. Still sleeping. Her caretaker, Moira, stood by her bed, stroking her head, kissing her face, begging Krishna through her own flowing tears to wake up, and then , the little girl’s eyes started to flutter, and I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was, on the other side of the world, getting to see her wake up, and blow raspberries at her “mother” like she always did. I saw this. I couldn’t believe it was real. Technology. It’s amazing.
Then last night. You tube. I don’t even know how I found it, but I thought it was a 10 minute video of how a Tsunami wave forms. However, I quickly realized that the 10 minute video was only the first part of a 90 minute film on the Tsunami of 2004 when 250,000 people were never seen alive again. If that number doesn’t take your breath away I don’t know what will. What started for me as an interest in the make up of the actual wave, turned into me sobbing on the couch with Paul, wondering how I was going to sleep tonight. Those images. Those families. The children. The unbearable pain. The fragility of life.
Then I remembered my eye doctor. Dr. Ian Field. Cutest little man ever. So quirky, kind of retired, but still working a few days a week because he wants to. We go back over 20 years! We are practically family. He is normally all business, but when I saw him earlier in the day, I had to know, it kind of came up, what does he believe about God? Well, said this brilliant eye doctor of a man, “I think that God wants us to just be nice to each other, respect each other, do good things…….” and on and on. And then, what does he think happens after death? “Well, I hope that……” And I have heard it so many times, but each time it shocks me to.my.core. These words. “I think” “I hope”
Here is this man, with walls covered in degrees. Hours, weeks, years of studying all things eyes, which is his job. His livelihood. His service. But when it comes to God he hasn’t studied at all. He told me that. And when it comes to what happens after he dies, which he “hopes” is very far away, he hasn’t really looked into it.
How can this be? People are combing the internet for recipes, studying scores for fantasy football, reading every article possible on vaccines. And the one thing, that is the main thing, well, that, we will just have to hope for, or go by what Great Aunt Trudy said. Or take the Scarlett O’hara approach and just think about it tomorrow.
One of the video clips from the Tsunami you hear Thai women talking, subtitles on the screen, the camera focused on the beach, the sand that just moments ago was covered in water. They know what is happening. They know the signs. The tide that rushed out is coming back soon with a vengeance. The tourists don’t know this. They are all just wandering around. Shouldn’t they go warn them, they ask each other. One German woman is overheard in another clip saying to her husband “Do you think this strange tide is related to the earthquake?” His answer? “No, definitely no”
I can’t take it. It’s too much. Please. I think. RUN!! Why don’t they know? Paul knows. He told me years ago, if the water ever goes out like that to run for my life, find higher ground. Shouldn’t everyone be told this? And then it’s too late. I literally thought there should be mandatory lessons for beach goers. If you are going to be near something as powerful and potentially dangerous, shouldn’t you study up on it first? But a Tsunami. Who ever had to think about that before? It’s so far removed. There are many more important things to think or worry about. I understand that. It was so unthinkable.
But life. And more specifically death. It is not far removed. It happens every day. Maybe not your loved one, but maybe so. Maybe a friend. And it’s rarely expected. And then my doctor. How could he just hope? Hope in what?
I am not a scholar. But I have studied. Hours and hours, and weeks and years and decades. And I have hope also, but my hope is founded in much of what I have come to know to be true.
As my pastor says oh so often, the statistics are clear. Ten out of ten people will die. And then what? Study to see the verifiable veracity of the Old Testament, the dead sea scrolls. Study how this Old Testament consistently points to who the Messiah would be and how Jesus fulfilled these prophecies like no one else could ever have done. Study how He, the Messiah, claimed to be the one way to the Father, ONE Way. He said it. It’s all there. Waiting. Study to see how it’s possible that one man’s death and resurrection causes the whole world to stop and take notice once a year.
And when you see those that have studied acting a little too “fanatical” in trying to tell others what they have studied, remember those Thai woman on the balcony yelling “RUN!!!” They knew the signs, they knew what was coming, and they knew something had to be done. And church, don’t just stand there asking each other “Should we tell them?” You know better. Tell someone. Today.
I Timothy 4: 4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at<sup class="footnote" value="[a]”>[a] His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.