Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


Deathbed Wishes

Yesterday I visited a dying woman at the hospital.  I do this sort of thing pretty regularly these days as a hospice chaplain.  Her daughter was there, tearful but steady.

She said her family was Christian and that they were grateful in times like these for “salvation.”  She choked up when I asked whether she had given her mother permission to go.  Mom, she said, was probably lingering because she didn’t want her daughter to be saddled with all the final arrangements she was leaving behind.  But that word “salvation”—much as it does often at the bedsides of dying persons here in the South—had hovered in the room as soon as she said it.

Funny thing, the way we can talk about salvation sometimes.  In some circles, I hear the term as if it’s just another checked box on a long list of Christian-sounding jargon.  But at the bedside of this dying person, “salvation” took on real meaning.  For this woman, salvation meant she didn’t have to be quite so afraid of death, and that she would be reunited with her mother some day in paradise.  Sure, she was still grieving, and she was still scared, but the grief, if pure, wasn’t unabated.

What kills me, pun intended, is the way most of us who believe the fundamental Christian truth that we’ll one day be resurrected can seem to relegate salvation to deathbed wishes.  What if we actually lived our lives with this assurance, so that death really had no sting?

In our relationships and places of work?

In our churches?

At the gym?  100 lb dumbbells? Yes!

But seriously, deathbed wishes can be life-in-the-main ones, can’t they?

How does a promise of salvation change the way you live your life today?  Come to think of it, would a series on salvation (what it means, its theological history, etc) be helpful? You can send me your thoughts at kristinarobbdover@gmail.com or drop them in the comments section below.



Previous Posts

Mental Health Break—The Worship Service To End All Worship Services
It's been a while since we've had a mental health break. As a little bit of comic relief at the start of another work week, this clip from a worship service somewhere in America comes from saint and sinner Paul. The comments from readers are just about as funny as the weird break dancing routine in

posted 2:12:30am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Christian Purity: Is God's Mission Possible When Purity Rules?
I had a really weird, somewhat distressing interaction this week, and it is still on my mind days later. It's one of those uncomfortable encounters that you would like to press the "replay" butt

posted 1:40:13pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Jesus and the Rich Man: A Sermon on the "Hitler" of Passages.
It's rare that I find myself thinking about Sunday's sermon midweek. This Sunday our pastor Drew Ditzel preached on the familiar story of Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10). The rich man, who says he has kept all the commandments perfectly and has lived a righteous life, comes to Jesus asking what mor

posted 10:40:08am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Lie of Invulnerability
This last week has been insane. Family sickness, repairs, car issues, multiple calls from school nurses, including one in which the nurse expressed concern my 7-year-old son had been bitten by a brown recluse spider...and just when I thought it couldn't get worse...viral pinkeye. Two puffy, leaky, r

posted 11:00:49am Sep. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Humor Relief for Religious Extremism
Once again, humor and satire are coming to my aid this morning, this time in response to the twisted and evil extensions of religion that seeks to coerce and control with violence and worldly forms of power (best embodied these days in the form of ISIS and its affiliates). The Palestinian televis

posted 10:36:57am Sep. 03, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.