Okay. Last night was a convicting one. I didn't see it coming for I'm far too vain. Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner was on Larry King Live. She's dying of cancer, weighs 65 pounds, and looks horrible (honestly...scary). She's in terrific pain in her spine and stomach. Visually, she looked so poorly it was difficult to stay tuned. Her speech pattern labored extensively as she often had to back up and take a run at the sentence again before she cleared the hill.
I've always regarded Tammy Faye as a clown. Her Clara Bell lashes and facial make-up left it difficult for me to take her seriously. I'm one of those---who knows how many---who enjoyed the opportunity to ridicule both Jim and Tammy. Yet, last night caved my rudeness and showed, once again, that side of me which ain't so hot.
No one vain would go on world television looking like she did. The only hint of recognizing who her was due to her mouth (smiling) and her voice (although raspy and breathless). The face is sagging downward into multiple rib-like rolls and the body is wasting. The mouth smiled upward while the face frowned downward. Tammy Faye requested she be interviewed to give opportunity to share her complete faith in God and to express to all of her fans her gratitude and love.
Once again near death and death seems to prove valuable to pull the elements from our hearts which really matters. Over the years I've experienced some pretty painful severing of congregational/member relationships. Both friends and enemies have left.....enemies. Consistently, when I see any at a funeral of one close to all, the wall of bitterness and hatred has gloriously dissolved. Genuine love and interest and friendship seem to be rekindled.
This thing about death is for real. It is a grace in the kingdom of God. We need death to discover the wonderful realities about our own hearts. Death exposes division for what it really is....surface. Then, it restores hearts as we find our deeply rooted true love for one another. Our real compassion is better than we would have believed as death serves as a fabulous magnifying glass to show us just how faithfully we care about each other.
So death works in us, but life in you....II Cor. 4:12