The Passing of a Gecko

Life Notes—May 2, 2013 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:1a,2a,3

My wife and I learned, early on, our son was allergic to most common house pets.  Turns out, he’s allergic to anything with fur.  That limited our pet options to mostly reptiles.  A snake was ruled out, unequivocally, by his mother.  The local pet store recommended a Leopard Gecko as a good choice.  Reid’s gecko, Jimmy, has lived to senior-citizen status for his species.  But I fear Jimmy is very near his earthly end.  He has not left his moss pit, where he takes on moisture, for a couple of weeks.  He ignores the juicy crickets we feed him, when he normally takes great joy in hunting down and eating them.  He is difficult to arouse from his seeming slumber and appears annoyed at attempts to do so.

I went through a similar (in some ways) experience several years ago as my mother was nearing death.  She progressively withdrew from those around her, seemingly drawn to another reality beyond ours.  When we were able to rouse her to our presence it was as if she had awoken from a dream, a dream she was anxious to return to posthaste. Unfortunately, a stroke had made her non-verbal, so she could not tell us what she was experiencing. Although she was physically alive to us and could be made to show her awareness of us, she was far from fully present with us. In her final days, she could not be made to awaken from this mysterious ‘sleep.’ Many years ago, as my grandmother was dying, she told me she had been visiting long-dead children and other long-passed loved ones.  She told of hearing the beautiful voices of angels and of the joyous welcome awaiting her.  Was she delusional?  By earthly standards, probably so.  But for those of us who believe our spirit nature lives on beyond our physical, it seems more likely she was beginning to separate her soul from her body, her body no longer being a viable vessel for her soul.  Just as when we travel from one place to another, there is a space and time in between when we are neither home, nor at our destination, but both are near.

So, it may be time to say farewell to Jimmy, although I suspect he will ignore me, preferring to focus on his destination rather than his current physical location.  I can only speculate about such a destination, but I know it is a place where one day we all will be reunited into our larger and eternal family.  And I pray my transition will be as peaceful.

Mitch sermon title downtown is “Come Over to ____,” based on Acts 16:9-15.  Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Tom’s sermon at the west campus is “The Power of a Personal Commitment,” based on Romans 12:1-8. West worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  Communion will be served at all services.

Come home to church this Sunday.

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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