Mourning? Yes, there had been mourning. Even before escaping the husk, there had been mourning... and fear, and grief.. But it had been other’s fear. And other’s grief. Too sick and too tired, I hadn’t had the energy for either. A small hope had remained for rescue, but my larger hope had been for an end. Preferably a quick end. An end to the painful sores, the debilitating nausea, the fatigue, the fever, the stench. To be released from that failing and festering carcass, from that noxious bedding in that malodorous room. And from the mourning.
Release, therefore, became the greater hope. Release and relief. To die. To pass from that realm to the next, trusting in the grace and goodness of the next realm’s Sovereign. Grace, acceptance and forgiveness. And new life, resurrection to a new life in His Kingdom. In these I trust. Not trusting to my own understanding, or relying on my own wisdom, works or worth. Men measure men by these standards, setting men in the balances, the scales, and weighing each other against these capricious merits. On such a sliding scale do souls slip away.
My lesser hope, rescue, had not come. But though a faint hope, it had been a real hope. The assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. Faith in a dear friend. Faith that that friend had the means to rescue me, to draw out the infection, to relieve the pain, close the sores, expunge the puss, reduce the inflammation. The ability to end the fear, the sorrow... the mourning.
But the friend had not come... at least, not in time.
Now time had lost it’s relevance. Lost it’s importance. And so had lost it’s power. In this new place, this new reality, time existed, but being endless, time was endlessly abundant. No longer the short commodity, time became a wall flower... present, but unnoticed. Timid and toothless. So also, waiting had lost it’s sinister sister, worrying. Waiting was just... waiting.
And we were... waiting. Indeed this was a place of waiting. Yes, there was music, heralds praising the Father, cherubs crying out endless words of praise and adoration, messengers coming and going on errands or missions. There appeared no end to the activity, yet over all, like thin frosting, the waiting. Like waiting for the birth of a child, knowing that it will eventually come, but not knowing when.
“Soon,” one of the beings says. “Very soon.” And with the others, I wait. The anticipation slowly building, slowly rising, generation after generation as dynasty follows dynasty, kingdom follows kingdom. The Promised Son is coming back, the Heir coming before His Father’s throne. “Soon. And very soon,” the voice repeats.
But another voice is heard in this place. A commanding voice. A familiar voice. And at His voice all the beings about me rise up and cheer. Surely now the time has come for the... but all of the beings have turned to look at me.
“Lazarus,” the voice calls again. That familiar voice. Calmly commanding. Gently but firmly demanding. “Lazarus.” It is my name. My name. He is speaking to me. Calling to me. Demanding my attention.
“Yes, Lord,” I answer, dropping to my knees as the others draw back from me in expectation. Suddenly, I don’t feel so good. This can’t be what we had been waiting for. What all my new acquaintances had been waiting for. For so long.
“Tell Him, we are waiting,” someone behind me whispers. “When you see Him, tell Him we love Him.”
“Lazarus,” I hear as if from afar. Clear but distant. “Come forth.”
Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart
When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world