The nearness of death

Reposting this reflection in light of the devastation in Oklahoma.

Jeff Gissing

At two o’clock this morning I was awoken by dull pain behind my eyes. I turned over. It persisted. I got up. It persisted. I drank a glass of water. It remained. It’s the first time I have ever been woken up by a headache.

Sitting on the couch in the darkness of our pre-dawn living room, my mind began a fanciful search for explanations. Sinus pressure? Brain tumor? Something else? You’d be amazed at where your mind can wonder.

I chose to linger on brain tumor. I know it’s a morbid thought, but sometimes thinking about the worst can bring needed perspective to an otherwise over-full life. It brought to mind the words of Psalmist: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (90:12).

The sense of the nearness of death, and also of resurrection, presumably played some part in the way…

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