"as a sign on your hand"
My mother has cancer.
For two weeks that phrase has reverberated in my being and loomed like a threatening storm cloud over every moment. My mother. My mother.
The night I heard those words from her stands in sharp definition, every activity etched in mental stone. I worked so hard to keep busy my hands when a string of absorbing brain teasers was what I needed. Be still my thoughts - Lord Jesus take them captive. And He did, the following day, in a moment similar in structure and content as the day before, the day before that, and the day to come.
We finished up our breakfast, the littles and I, and I reached for the Heidelberg Catechism to begin our morning worship - as we do each morning. Kenzie has started co-opting the liturgy by singing out "Question One" when the book is brought forth, so my first words of worship that morning were, "What is your only comfort in life and in death?"
My heart sank and my brain focused on the last word, "death." Paralyzed momentarily, all I could see was pain, agony, hopelessness. Then, through the fog came a sweet voice proclaiming the answer: "That we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to our faithful savior Jesus Christ." I looked at my daughter, tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Yes child, there is comfort in death - as there is comfort in life. Learn it by heart and know it's every definition, so important they both are - heart and mind. What we are teaching you by rote is powerful in truth and application. So apply them, dear child of mine, a charge upon you and a demand upon me - practice these truths.
"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."