One year ago I sat beside Michael’s bed as he died. Before that day I had only been present two times as people had died. Both times were quiet and peaceful. I think back to the night Michael died. It was a long day. We knew it was coming. It was a decision that he had made – at least as much as we are allowed to decide on these things. The kids were all gathered with me in his room. It was quiet. It was tender. We listened for his last breaths. Finally the machines and monitors told us it was time.
Two weeks ago I stood next to my daughter’s bed. Besides my own deliveries I had never been present at the birth of a baby. It was a long night. We knew it was coming. Having a child was a decision my daughter and son-in-law had made – at least as much as we are allowed to decide these things. All our family was gathered in the room. But it wasn’t quiet. Finally the monitors and machines told us it was time.
As I look on both of these events I am amazed. These are divine moments that God allows us to be a part of — when a life enters or leaves this earth. It seems we are somehow especially close to the presence of God in these moments. But I also look at how we struggle to get here, with pushing and great effort, with cries and great shouts of triumph. And I see how we leave, with quietness and surrender, yielding to God’s plan for an end to our time here.
And then there was another divine moment. At the very same time that this new baby was being born, there was another birth taking place, a rebirth. A precious friend has been battling cancer for over two years. The doctors recommended he have a stem cell transplant and a donor was found. And on the very day, at the very time that my grandson came into this world, our precious friend received his stem cells and got a new birthday. They knew it was coming. It was their decision to have this transplant – at least as much as we are allowed to decide on these things. I’m told there wasn’t much fanfare. But I know the presence of God was there with them and I’m sure it was another divine moment.
How great is the Father’s love for us that He would allow us to be a part of His great work and plan.
One life on earth ends. One life on earth begins. One life on earth is re-born. All three are named Michael.