September 23, 2015

Passed Away Peacefully

Fairly often I’ll read an obituary for an older person that says they passed away peacefully and the sentiments somehow bestow a sense of peace and comfort on readers. King Zedekiah was given insight into his own death when the Lord sent the prophet Jerimiah to him with the message that he would be handed over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. However, there was a caveat, “Yet hear the promise of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the LORD says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully.” (Jer 34:4-5a NIV). As New Testament believers Paul instructs us to live a peaceful life, but I’m thinking I’d also like a peaceful death.

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----In the late 1970’s I rode a Harley for my main transportation Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. I pulled a couple stunts on it evidencing my deeper idiocy, not to mention riding on fresh-snow blanketed over snow-packed streets (with only two wheels on the ground you for sure want to see the ruts in the snow-pack before they throw you down.) I was struck by a golf ball on North Avenue in the middle of rush hour traffic. Twice drivers assumed my lane of traffic as if I weren’t there. I hit a bag of trash on the highway, and a 4x4 beam just across the Whitewater bridge. That was a bit after midnight. It came into my headlights screaming, “To late to dodge! Hang on and pray!” Finally a touch of wisdom stirred in my depths, and I sold my bike to a kid who later stole my stereo. But that’s a story with the Lord in it, too, for another day.
-----It's old foolishness which does not die peacefully. Had wisdom more than stirred in my depths I would not have bought a 1970 CB750 thirty years later. Again, I was riding Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Even after hitting a cow in my driveway the hint did not sink deep.
-----Yet it sunk enough to worry me about deer. They are all over. And they seem to hide in bushes to jump in front of you while you know not a bit they’re anywhere near. A few years earlier, when I was smart enough to stick four wheels against the road, two deer came bailing off a hillside, and thankfully, I wasn’t going fast. I stopped while they sped by only inches from the front fender. Funny how such an event will cause a short moment of ponder before the mind re-engages its interrupted routine. Almost simultaneously to my getting off the brakes and going for the throttle, here those two idiots come again, inches past the same fender and back up the same hillside from where they came. Talk about double dipping the risk pool! So it was that occasionally, while riding my CB750, not just the thought of hitting a deer, but also the feel of its dirty, furry body up close and personal against my face crossed my mind. I spent near half the days I owned that bike fearing a deer, a dog, a pothole, a careless driver, and certainly, ultimately, the pavement, the ground, the rocks. And I knew my CB750’s kinship to a milling ball.
-----I suppose that is why, when Bambi found me one May morning in 2009, as I watched the seat of my bike pass before my eyes, my mind rejoiced, “Good! I’ve got separation!” It is interesting how the mind can perceive and respond in a split second. Seeing little Bambi’s face in my headlights engaged all the horror I before imagined. Watching the pavement approach my chest struck ominous expectation; feeling it dig in smeared my mind into a sense of ER, but seeing my bike pass before my eyes was relieving. Having regained consciousness and laying there on my back looking into a silent, powder blue, dawn sky was very, very peaceful. I found it profoundly interesting that its beauty was registering in the same mind that was fearing its neck was broken. For a moment I thought I could have my choice: go with beauty into death, or check out the neck and find a way to my feet. From that day to this I now perceive the horrors of death’s situation to alone be the discomfort of its approach. Death itself? What a peace! It was just a window I peered through that day of May. But I know in the day it will be my door the full presence of Lord Jesus stands on its other side, bidding me to step through with joy into His triumph (which is a pretty cool sports car for when the bike finally gets you.)

Love you all,
Steve Corey