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I Believe. . . In The Resurrection

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

I've lost count of how many times I have discussed the resurrection of the body with hospice patients and their families. Today, I got to sit and listen which led to a special time of thinking and praying about it for me and my family all in the backdrop of Father's Day 2023.

I was sitting in church on the second row, because my daughter Karie is only 4' 5" tall. We sit in the front to help her to see better. We've been visiting a local church that we are falling in love with and will more than likely make our church home soon. Due to Father's Day, I was sitting in between two of my girls whom I love dearly and make up part of my large and wonderful family. My wife Sue and my daughter Karie.

Wyman, the pastor began the message with a humorous story by Lewis Gizzard, the southern humorous of the 1970's to the mid 1990's. Wyman retold the story of another Weyman. This is the story of brave Weyman C Wannamaker, Jr. a great American. It seems his Uncle Cleve has passed away, and he had developed over his life a humped back. This feature was so prominent that the funeral home had a hard time getting him to lie flat in the coffin. So they went to the hardware store and bought a strap to strap him down to get him to lie flat. But at the wake, the strap breaks and Uncle Cleve sits up at the wake. Weyman then decides to let his uncle sit up, while he headed off to bed rather quickly. The story was hilarious, but the next point was so very true. "One day all of us who believe in Christ will be sitting up in our grave as well", pastor Wyman said.

In the Apostles Creed it says, "I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting". Pastor Wyman's point was this "If we die with Him, we will rise with Him". And with passioned teaching he began to unfold the truth of scripture. Saying words that I have said to many a hospice patient or family throughout the end of their lives when they would ask, "Chaplain what is that glorified body going to be like?"

Special for me today however was the fact that my daughter Karie was here. She was born with physical challenges to her body. Hearing loss, a complicated and crooked spine, deformity in her shoulders and in her lungs and heart. She is short in stature due to her curvature of the spine, but if you could stretch her out, she would probably be about a foot taller or more. Many times, in church, I have put my arm around her and felt the situation that she must live with daily, and my prayer has always been "Please Lord, could You heal her". And yet, His grace is sufficient for now and we must live longer with the situation that we have.

I also began to think back over the past week at the hospital. It seems that some weeks I meet many who are having limbs amputated due to infections or disease. Or I see the scars of joints that need to or have been replaced and hips that are broken. Bodies in all states of disrepair, and over the years that has been me as well. Last week I saw the aftermath of many a procedure and felt the ache in my body as I looked at what had happened to theirs. At 61 my body doesn't quite work like it did in my 20's so thinking about the resurrection and the "change" that is coming really got my mind going. I appreciated so much that Pastor Wyman said, "It will be a new body but not with those knees or that back".

Here is what I know. I know that one day, a blast of a trumpet will sound, and if Karie is asleep in Jesus, she will sit up, and if alive she will join me in the air and together, a transformation will occur that we cannot begin to truly fathom. I will watch as her spine straighten, and as she grows taller. No more needing to sit on the second row! I will hear her shout as she did that day, she came out of anesthesia a few years ago, following one of her most radical and difficult surgeries, "Thank You Jesus!" at the top of her lungs that are full with air! Except this time her speech will not be of a person with hearing loss, she will speak clearly as her voice cuts through the air. No more hearing aids, no more glasses, no more humped and crooked spines for all of eternity. And she will hear clearly all that is said to her and never feel alone in a room full of people again due to her inability to hear and understand what is going on around her.

But it won't be just Karie, it will be Sue and I and our family, and many patients whom I have preached their funeral services and cared for. Some of those babies that I worked with when they passed away and I cried and wept with their mom's and dad's. We will see them again in their fullness, whole and complete. Even our grandson Ishmael who died after being born pre-mature will be given a new body and we will meet him for the first time there. What a day it is going to be! What a day!

If we die with Him, we will rise with Him. I believe that. Do you?

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