Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The House of Duplicity

A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 - 2

A hospital. A medical center. A house of mourning. A house of feasting. I find it intriguing how one place can be experienced so differently by each of its visitors. Even then, how it can be experienced differently each visit for each visitor. One may walk through its doors in great expectation of new life or renewed life. Another day, that same one may walk through its doors with great sorrow and heaviness of heart knowing final moments and possibly final breaths may be shared. Scripture says it is better to be the latter. That's not to say the former is bad. It's just not as good.

The week prior to Christmas, I had the joy of helping welcome a sweet baby boy into our community. The waiting room was filled with predictions, hope, joy and excitement. A perfect, almost 9-pound early Christmas present was delivered in great health with the cry of new life.

Potential. Hope.

The week after Christmas, I received a call that my grandfather was losing his battle with cancer. Conversations were peppered with "hospice" and "comfortable." My mother and I sat on either side of his bed holding his hands and watched an old black & white movie with him in a rare moment of ease. I wondered if this would be one of the last times I would share the same air with him. I wondered what he was thinking as we watched the movie. I wondered if he wondered if this would be a last shared moment with my mother and me. My mind was less focused on the days between birth and death and more focused on the last day. The last moment. The last breath.

What would I be thinking? Where would my hope rest?

Today, we walk into the house of duplicity. I am grateful for the gravitational pull of that house. Each visit for a scan or a check up holds the possibility of either disposition. The potential of experiencing its mourning shakes my heart to its foundation. Am I founded on the hope of tomorrow or on Christ in me, the hope of glory?

Truly, it is better to go to the house of mourning.


Sam Jones said...

This post rested well with my soul this morning. Thank you for allowing the LORD to restore things in me that I did not know needed restoration. Thank you for being a beacon of His love & mercy. Every week I sit under Matt's teaching & often wish I could sit under yours. This is a way to do just that. Thank you.

Just Jana said...

I have been thinking a little about this over the past week as we lost a friend from college. Her dad said as they wheeled her back to perform an emergency c-section that they said their goodbyes. The doctors say though she was unconscious a tear rolled down her face. It makes me wonder what she was thinking. She was of course sad to leave her family and the people she loved dearly, but might it been a tear of joy that she would be entering the King's gates? Curious how that ending hour will pan out as I assume you would be sad to leave but ecstatic to enter His gates.

Praying for you and your family! Grandfathers are the best!

1531 said...

Prayin fo u guys!! Luvin me sum of dis werd!!! God bless!!

1st Cor. 15:31

Jen Bowers said...

Thanks for putting this so beautifully. I felt the same emotions last week as I sat next to my closest cousin, who is 7 months pregnant, at my grandfathers funeral. Bittersweet for my heart, but all sweet for my Savior's heart. Thanks for sharing!

Tania said...

Thank you for sharing Lauren! How often we forget that we are to rejoice in death. It's lost its sting! Still a very very hard lesson to learn. I appreciate your openness. :)

Shawn said...

And yet that truth is so difficult to believe from the outside looking in. Thanks for the reminder.

Gwenny said...

I wish we lived closer so we could have lunch together. I'd love to glean some wisdom from your heart! Thanks for blogging and sharing what He is doing in your lives!

Gwenny Lawson<><

Unknown said...

Wow...what a powerful truth! You radiate the glory and promises of Jesus and make me want to love Him more. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver."

Reese said...

...Teaching by just "being"; that's what you are doing, Lauren.... We need your words! Thank you!!!

xo, and Prayers

Logan Walter said...

He is Faithful.

JCD said...

Nice post, I have felt the same way, kind of. I really don't like hospitals at all. 4 kids, loved having them, but was scared for my wife and kids each time...don't like them.;o)

Kara Chupp said...

Our daughter Selah died a while back...and your words ring so true.
I love this quote by Piper:
"Joy is protected from being flippant by steady sorrow. Sorrow is protected from being fatal by steady joy."
--John Piper


What Lies Beneath said...

Absolutley love your blog! Very inspiring! Follow mine? Would love your input?

Unknown said...

This has truly resonated with me. It is such a strange paradox that we should find great treasure in times of loss, in times of pain. Thank you for sharing this.

BK said...

Having just burried our son a week ago, I can honestly say that I never felt so much faith as when I was praying for him to live (the house of mourning). And, somehow, because of his presence, my confidence in God is stronger now than before, even though I didn't get the answer I obviously wanted. I feel a little nuts saying it, but I am more confident in God's goodness. He is more real, and our son is safe in his arms, waiting for us. God certainly screams to us in our pain (C.S. Lewis). I am so glad.

christina said...

Hey Lauren- last night was a sweet time of worship! I was wondering if you could post what you shared about the Trinity- it was beautiful!! It really touched my heart- thanks.