I sat face-to-face with a man who had been a part of my past. Twenty years ago we met together in his office as he ministered to me during the absolute lowest point of my life. It was the end of my life as I knew it. As I struggled to put one foot in front of the other, I was dangerously close to stumbling into a sink hole and disappearing forever. There wasn’t much he could do for me, really. But he sat with me, and he cared, and that was enough. I know he felt terribly inadequate and suspected that he may have been dying, too.
That was another time and in another place. As the years passed, we had no contact with one another. And then, after 20 years, here we were again, meeting this time in my office, for a completely different reason. It would have been easy to pretend that we had never met before. Essentially, we were strangers. But strangers with a history. We had encountered one another in a previous life. The people we were then had long since died. We had no reason to dig up our graves and pick at the bones. Now we were different people with new lives. Praise God!
I may not always be able to grasp the truth of the resurrection. But when I’m confronted with a person who hasn’t seen me since the final days of my former life, it smacks me in the face. I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience death and resurrection without having the whole wondrous miracle slip right by me, unnoticed. I’m thankful that even though the time of my death was so painful that I considered putting an end to it, I stuck around to see it through. And I’m thankful that the theme of death and resurrection continues to run through my life like a stream gushing up from an everlasting spring. Yes, resurrection is real. I know it’s real because I have lived it.