😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you. This past week has been filled with the humanity of sadness and loss, and the promise of everlasting joy in and with the Lord. Last Wednesday, March 11, 2020, a friend and member of our Greater Dayton Emmaus community passed away in his sleep. Chris Wissinger was only 54. I last saw Chris the Monday before his unexpected passing and he seemed so full of life. Chris was the Vice Chairman of our Emmaus community and effective April 1, 2020 Chris would have moved to the Chairman of the Board and Community Lay Director position. The link below is a video that features Chris and was going to be shared on the Greater Dayton Emmaus website upon his transition to his new role. I would encourage you to watch the video and take it to heart. So many of us that have experienced the Walk to Emmaus weekend experience have had very different, but at the same time similar experiences, transformations, and desires to grow and share our relationship with Christ. Chris’ passing was unexpected and didn’t offer a known opportunity to saver those last moments. On the other hand, me, my husband and multiple members of our family spent last Wednesday through Monday sharing some precious moments with Shirley and each other as we day by day watched her transition through the end stages of life. We laughed. We cried. We sat in silence…Except for The Food Network that was on 24/7. For someone that had no desire to eat, she sure liked watching those food shows. Even when she was no longer able to speak or keep her eyes open, none of us changed the channel.
I’m working on processing the events of this past week and I know that God’s hand of blessing has been all over us. One lesson learned from this past week that I would like to share with you was something that I learned from Shirley’s Hospice of Dayton case worker, Kimberlee. She told us about a training experience that she had when she joined the hospice team. She was given a special set of googles that gradually caused her to be in the dark, unable to see and communicate with those in the room around her, but she was still able to hear. She shared with us that the sense of hearing is the last to go and how helpless a feeling it was to be able to hear people talking around you and about you, but not talking to and with you, and also not being able to communicate your needs. I tried to keep this in mind as we spent those many hours with Shirley. Take a moment to think how important those final words you hear will be. It will make you pause and think a little differently about the words you speak. It’s so important to speak life and love to those around you. It is only by God’s grace and His love within you that you are able to speak true and real everlasting life and love. Now is the time and now is the place, for you know not what tomorrow holds. Bless others and be blessed.
#TheAfters – Well Done