Back in 1951, prior to my birth, I was immersed in the utter darkness of the womb. Dense liquid engulfed me and I spent my time peacefully floating and swimming. My lifeline was a cord that attached me to my mother. Then everything changed. There was a leak. The liquid was draining away. Contractions squeezed me through a tunnel at the end of which there was harsh burning light which came streaming in in on me, exposing my naked, vulnerable body. The water was gone. My lifeline was cut. I felt like I was dying. I struggled to take my first breath and surprisingly I was alive.
Sixty-nine years later, prior to my impending death, I lay in my bed. My chest ached from a twelve-centimeter malignant tumor mass. Fluid was accumulating around my heart and lungs. My breathing was labored. Fever, chills and drenching sweats were a daily occurrence. I spent much of my time in bed. My restless sleep was filled with a recurrent dream, or was it a nightmare. I was trapped in darkness. Immersed in black liquid. In my fear and terror, I did not remember that I was in a similar environment many years ago, prior to my birth.
As Jesus lay dying, transfixed to His bed of wood, He gave up His life, saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” He was taken down and placed in the tomb. There He lay, surrounded by utter and complete darkness, but this tomb was not to be His final resting place. The stone was rolled away and light streamed in from the end of the tunnel. He then emerged, more glorious and radiant and beautiful than anything previously seen on this earth.
And so it will be with all of us. For to be born is to die and to die is to be born again.
For me, the return to the womb turned out to be, for now, just a dream. However, God speaks to us in dreams. And so, I believe there is no tomb that can hold me. The fear of my death is reimagined and transfigured into the anticipation and excitement and mystery of my birth.
John 12:24 “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies it remains alone, but its death will produce many new kernels, a plentiful harvest of new lives.”