Frozen Past

Before I worked for CVM I was pastoring a small church in Essex. It was a fantastic place and as a family we loved being part of the church and walking with amazing people on their faith journey.

Recently I had a phone call about a lady who was part of the church community who was in hospital dying from terminal cancer.

I decided that moments like this are so quick to pass us by that I needed to drive down from South of Sheffield to see her in hospital. The journey went well and I arrived before visiting hours ended that night. I had thought in the car about things I could say or what comforting words I would be able to bring to this wonderful lady in her final hours on this earth.

We talked about the church and remembered some good times together, and then we agreed to pray together before I set off for the journey back.

I prayed the few things I had thought about, nothing very interesting or significant, mostly about her future and the path ahead. I said a positive ‘amen’ and thought ‘nice work, good prayers.’

She opened her eyes and asked in a soft voice ‘can I pray too?’ of course I said yes and bowed my head. Let me tell you something, this dear lady had captured something unique that I was about to learn, we live in the now. The past, as C.S.Lewis said ‘is frozen, it no longer flows, and the present is all lit up with eternal rays.

What am I on about? Well the prayer answered this for us. She prayed not for the past, mistakes, disappointment or squandered hopes and dreams. She prayed not for the future, her safety, or for fear to subside. She prayed for those in her heart, people living in the ‘now’ or the ‘present’ who didn’t yet know Jesus as Lord and king.

As she prayed I was moved to tears (this month is more of a serious article, hope you don’t mind!) I was just amazed at the gospel priority this lady held, the gospel legacy she was leaving was incredible.

So often I am a bloke who lives in the past, trying to defrost past moments, hurts, failures, even good times with God. Then I jump into the future and my hopes and plans to buy a new this or that, to be known as this or that, and all along I miss the ‘now.’

The ‘now’ means we look to Jesus in the future and expect that day to come when we will see Him face to face, and that truth illuminates the now. It impacts how we live, act, react to people around us. As C.S. Lewis helpfully shows perhaps, our enemies plan to keep us locked in the past or dreaming about the future, and this means we miss the moment now to be like Christ to our families, friends and wider. Where are you today? What’s your gospel priority or your gospel legacy going to be?


Image Credit: Freddie Marriage