Personal Narrative: Resurrection Life
Easter was my father’s most favourite time of year, and it became increasingly so as he grew older. His spirit identified with nature as it came to life again after the desolation and cold of a long Manitoba winter. Each new flower species, from crocus to daisy, heralds new life after death. Unless a seed dies, God cannot give it a new body.
When I was doing my first term of Clinical Pastoral Education at University Hospital in Saskatoon, SK, a World War Veteran was assigned to my care. He was missing limbs, disfigured by a mortar shell explosion. When I approached him as a pastoral visitor, …show more content…
He and his family were among those adventurous pioneers who settled in the north and opened up trading centers and supply stores in remote communities in northern Manitoba. Related to the famous Flying Lamb Brothers who literally opened up northern travel and commerce, Jock was a treasure house of stories of adventure and dedication to the Aboriginal people. Jock quietly slipped into the back pew one Sunday morning and thus began a mentorship and pastoral relationship which will always be dear to my heart. His health was failing, and his spirit would not give him peace till he looked an enemy with whom he had battled with more than once straight in the eye once and for all! Death. Thus began our discussions about the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the power of resurrection life. Like me, Jock experienced the mystery of the 18- inch move when his faith moved from his head into his heart. As Easter approached, the readings about the suffering of Jesus took on a new personal meaning for Jock. On Easter Morning at the early service, Jock’s voice stood out in response to my greeting “The Lord is risen!” with the shout “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” Two Sundays later, he was in his usual place, and, just before the sermon, I walked down the aisle and prayed the pastoral prayer standing in the midst of the people. I was not aware of it, but I stopped right beside Jock. The prayer was invoking God to awaken us afresh to His Easter resurrection presence in our midst. I had only spoken for a few moments about how we can experience resurrection power in daily life as well as the ultimate experience of rising from death when I noticed Jock slump forward in his pew! Stopping the sermon immediately, I said, “Jock seems to be having some difficulty,” and, as I went to him, two nurses from the congregation accompanied me. They knew him and were also familiar with his heart problems and that he wore a pacemaker. To our surprise, the pacemaker did not respond