Friday, February 2, 2018

I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire...a repeat

I was looking through the lists of posts for this blog because I wanted to know when the first one was published. (Our blog was on another site before that so it is older than these posts reflect.)  I found a post from February 2009 about my Daddy who passed away in 1997.  This month will mark what would have been my Daddy's 100th birthday, so I have decided to re-post that blog entry.

(a repeat from 2009)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"I Don't Want to Set The World on Fire...

...I only want to start a flame in your heart."

Perhaps it was the chilly, wet, grey weather. Perhaps it was the way that weather makes all your joints ache when you move. Maybe it was because I was sitting across from the small window at the cafe looking out at the grim sky and the bare binestems of a solitary tree, watching an occasional gull fly past. Maybe it was because my Daddy's birthday will roll around in another ten days. He would have been, what, 91 this year? But he has been gone what will be twelve years next month. Anyway, Glen and I were sitting at the cafe, each doing our own work on our computers and the cafe was playing old music on the intercom. I really wasn't paying attention to the music until unexpectedly the words of the old song not only got my attention, they flung me far into the past. I could hear my father strumming on his guitar and singing those words..."I don't want to set the world on fire....I just want to start to a flame in your heart!" All of a sudden I was a little girl again whose only man in her life was her daddy, and my eyes filled with tears as I thought that I would love to hear him sing that funny old song to me just one more time.

At work this week, I attended an in-service on "Compassion Stress Fatigue". If I had known what the first "exercise" had been I would have surely opted to not go. We each were given a brown paper bag and slips of paper. On the slips of paper we wrote down things we loved (mine were people), things we loved doing, things we looked forward to doing in the future. Then we rolled the top down on our bags and shook them up. We were told the bags represented our lives. Then we were to imagine that we were given the diagnosis of inoperable cancer and we had six weeks to live. We were to open the bag and take out the slips of paper, slowly read what was on the paper, say goodbye to whatever was on it and tear it up. The first piece of paper I took up had the name "Jackson" on it -- my grandson. Immediately I was in tears. I could not tear up that piece of paper. How would I say goodbye to that piece of my heart? Then the moderator said something that put it all in perspective for me. "Tear up that thing you love and know you will never see it again!" I realized that if I know the Lord Jesus as my Savior and if those who are written on those slips know Him as Savior, then cancer and even death cannot truly separate us. As one hero in a romantic comedy says, "Death cannot end true love, it can only delay it awhile." 

For Christians, we know that death is only a temporary separation. There is another day coming, a day of reunion, a day in which we will have a perfect bond and union in which we will be together forever. After I remembered that, I was able to tear up all the other slips of paper without the emotional upheaval that the moderator expected. I had a Blessed Hope of which she was unaware.

Sitting in the cafe, my eyes still wet with the tears of missing my Daddy, Glen asked me to pick out a weekly memory verse for the Orange Moon Devotionals. I knew exactly which one I would choose. The one which reminds me that there will be a day when my Daddy and I will indeed, meet again:

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 
and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 
I Thessalonians 4:16,17

No comments: