Of Life and Living

The following is a piece that I wrote shortly after the death of my Aunt Cathy. It has been sitting on the forefront of my heart for the past few months, and I felt like I needed to share it.

So, here it is.

Of Life and Living

I didn’t feel death. I know that a lot of times, people talk about how they can feel the presence of death in a room as someone is about to die. I didn’t. I didn’t feel like it wasn’t the thing that needed to happen, because it was. The cancer had spread and it was torturing her body. I knew it was coming.
But I didn’t expect the hours leading up to it. I didn’t expect the blank stare. I didn’t expect the build up of fluid in the throat causing one of the most heart wrenching sounds I’ve ever heard. I didn’t expect to not be able to handle that.
Because I can handle a lot. I’ve seen a dead person before.
This was different though. She wasn’t dead, she was dying.
Or was she?
Was she dying? Yes, her breathing had slowed, the gurgling coming from her throat had hastened, and her body was fighting. Those signs were all there.
But, I like to think of it more as the last chapter of living, the one before the chapter on celebrating, which is right before the chapter on joy and worship. I know that we have seen those chapters before. We see celebration when a child is born or a couple is wed. We see the chapter on worship when we read of Jesus worshipping His Father in the temple. We’ve seen it all before. But, it isn’t until we flip the page from the last chapter on living that we really understand what celebration or worship or joy are all about.
You see, death is a strange thing. So much sorrow amidst so much freedom. It is hard to lose someone we love. It is still hard. It will never be easy. But I celebrate today knowing that my aunt is free. Free from pain. Free from hurt. Free to run and celebrate and worship God for all He did and has done for her!
Freedom often comes in the form of a final breath, a last chapter. Though it is the last chapter we will see here on earth, it is the beginning of a new book on freedom.
Who gets to the last chapter of a book they absolutely love and have fallen in love with and stops, anyways? Me, I like to pick the book up again. I like to read the pages again. I like to go back to the chapters and the stories that left me changed. I like to go back to the times where I read on and felt like a better person because of the life lived out on those pages.

I didn’t feel death. I felt love and peace. And, most of all, I felt freedom.

Thank you for taking the time to read and visit this little corner of the Internet. Know today that you are loved. You are valued. And that you are needed.

-JosH

Fixing a forgotten thought. // “The Body”: take two

A few weeks ago I shared a spoken word piece called “The Body”.  I realized that I never actually posted the words to the piece, so I decided to fix that today.  My apologies for the delay and my forgetfulness.  If you click the title “The Body”, below, it’ll take you to a page where you’ll be able to listen, perhaps for a second time.

Hope you enjoy! Thank again for reading and listening!

-Josh

The Body

The intricacies of this here body.
The way the blood pumps through the ventricles
and the arteries.
The way that I breathe in oxygen
and breathe out carbon dioxide.
Because, if it was the other way around,
I most certainly would not be alive.

Each is working,
And has a purpose of its own.
But each is part of my body,
not ever have to work alone.
My body, in all of its intricacies
works together to form one entity.
Each one finding in its purpose
an identity.

As I thought about all of this
as I drove home that evening
a thought occurred to em
This thought, no matter how simplistic
or abstract it may see.,
made me keenly aware of the reality
that me, being a broken human being,
has a part in the Body of my Lord and King.

I don’t always know what it is

Each day I try and figure it out.
And I think I’m doing well so far
what I do know, is that He has said to me
I should love Him and love others
with the same intensity

I know that, when I love Him,
He’ll show me why He created me.
It is in trusting Him
that I find my true identity.

It is His purpose that I choose to live for
I’ve decided to take that identity
that society has tried to sell me
and throw it out that door
Ignoring the screaming
Refusing to let one more
turn into just one more.

But it’s a choice
No one ever said it’d be easy.
And it’s okay if it’s not easy
Because I know that my purpose
is not to hollar at all of the ladies.
My purpose,
the purpose that He has written for me
is to Love Him and Love them
and shout His eternal Glory.

That is our purpose.
Yes, you and me.
We are part of His Body.
Part of the greater picture
and a greater reality.

You may say, no.
You must surely not mean me.
And I say yes, yes you!
You, the child of the King.
God made you in all of your intricacies.
Even though you think that you cannot see— it.

Don’t worry though.
The same God that has a plan for you
is the same one who made the blind man se..
He’s the same God who used a mute man to speak
and preach His Majesty.

You’ve got a purpose.
Just like my lungs are suppose to breathe.
You’ll work precisely
how He made you to work
In this thing called His Body.