Saturday afternoon, after shopping in our town Farmer’s Market, buying cute little Seckel pears, and eggs, tasting some sample cheeses, and stuff, my husband and I were on our way out. We passed by a huge portable chalkboard that was set up in the park. Several people were gathered around it, and we paused to look. The painted title on the large board said, Before I Die I Want To… Then the board had lines painted on for people to respond in chalk. Interesting! My husband said he just had seen a board like this in another city in Vermont the past week. On the board here people had answered some cute remarks, some serious, with a variety of responses. I remember one said “I want to eat lemon pie”. Another said they wanted to go around the world.
Our day was busy, and I did not much consider, or even remember, that giant chalkboard, until later that evening. It was blog time, and I needed to come up with one, and had been asking the Lord for two days for His idea for me. Nothing yet. Was this chalkboard going to be it? I had nothing much to say about it. Just a bucket list on a board. When my thoughts landed briefly on it again, I heard in my spirit “Your Dad.”
With that word came an instant picture, memory and understanding. Of course, God’s idea was the connection.
You see, several years ago, my sweet Dad, who had believed God for a healing from Melanoma cancer, was healed, and enjoyed some good years, until he was found with severe pancreatic cancer. He was brave and trusted in the Lord, yet his body was weakening fast. One night he had a very real dream. In the dream he was standing art a huge chalkboard, in front of a large class of people, teaching them something. When asked what he was teaching them, he said, “The Lord told me to teach them how to die well.” Dad realized that before he died and went to Heaven, the last part of his life was to tell people around him about the Lord, and His love.
When my father died, the hospice workers who had been coming day and night, all asked my mom to pray with them, one by one, to receive Jesus as their Lord, They all said that no one had ever exhibited such faith, trust and love for God as this dying man had, and they wanted to know that God.
Two chalkboards: One with a random question about what to want before one dies, and the other, a dream from God to inspire a man to do something for others that would give them an eternal benefit. While I am alive, I want to live well. We never know when we will die.
“For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].”