This month I’d like to think about the various kinds of freedom we have. Having recently lost both my beloved mother and my husband of 47 years, the first devotion and poem pay homage to their freedom.

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.

~ Hebrews 6:17-20a

In Memoriam: A Saint Passes

Passing:
Like a little bird breaking
From small confines
Into limitless light, shimmering sun;
Breathless, wings beating,
Blinded by light, impatient,
Exhilarated;
And then
the joy of
Recognition
(waves of translucent luminance like foam on the
Ransom
Reunion
Rest–
(and eternity stretching as far
as the untroubled sky)

A promise Jesus made, which is the hardest to understand, was His assurance in John 11:25. He was standing outside the tomb of His friend Lazarus, speaking to Martha who, though disappointed in Jesus’ delay, still had faith in Him. She’d accepted the fact of her brother’s death, and when Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise again, she assumed He meant in the resurrection of the last day. “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus responded. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” Then Jesus confronted all her beliefs. He had just told Martha, in essence, that she herself would not die, and then He asked her, “Do you believe this?” We can’t fault Martha—we have trouble believing this ourselves! But Christians don’t face death the way others do.

For a Christian, it goes like this: you get really sick, or in an accident, and suddenly you go from intense pain into eternal life. Death? It’s just a passageway.

But for the soul which will not bend to God, the pain of illness or the trauma of injury is followed by a permanent condition we call death. It is eternal separation from God.

Jesus doesn’t want this for anyone. He wants eternal communion and fellowship with us, and gave His own life to achieve that end.

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We live by faith, not by sight.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

Tramride
This thin thin wire
Sways in generous bulging arcs
From breeze to breeze
Like a child’s jumprope
Or the rippling undulations
Of a lustrous serpent
Moving through thick waters.

We are suspended under
This snakerope
And we are pulled along
By it. There is no escape:
The mountain floor beneath us
Is frighteningly distant.
The trees are miniature layered fans
And its boulders a pebbled mosaic.

A ridge rises before us.
Our eyes tells us there is no
Way over it, and yet
The cable passes through a crevice.

This, then, is faith:
We know we must follow where the cable has
Gone, and let our hearts
Finish the ride,
Finish the ride.

Biblical faith is based not upon what we can predict in the future, but what we can read about in the past.

It’s a risky business, trusting God in this dangerous way.

It means turning over the control knobs of our life, the steering wheels of our directions, to an unseen Guide.

Only by trusting Jesus—someone who’s been the route before—can we have any confidence that we are doing the right thing, for we surely cannot be doing the “safe” thing if we are to follow an unseen God to the death. 

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Dr. Latayne C. Scott is the recipient of Pepperdine University’s Distinguished Christian Service Award for “Creative Christian Writing,” and is Trinity Southwest University’s Author in Residence. Her newest book is Talking with Teens about Sexuality: Critical Conversations about Social Media, Gender Identity, Same-Sex Attraction, Pornography, Purity, Dating, Etc. with Dr. Beth Robinson (Bethany Books.) The author of over two dozen published books, including Passion, Power, Proxy, Release (TSU Press) in which these poems appear, she lives and writes in New Mexico. She maintains several informational  websites, including Latayne.com and Representationalresearch.com.