Song Ten: Longing (by Doug)
Longing is a quiet, reflective instrumental number to close the cd. You can listen to Longing by clicking on the arrow below. Wait a bit for the song to load.
What longings did Doug have in mind when he wrote this piece?
He expressed several longings to me when I visited with him the last few times; he longed for healing to live long enough to raise his children together with his wife; he longed to share the love of Christ with others.
We aren’t a family who has dreams that seem significant, but as Doug was fighting cancer for the second time, he shared a dream he had in which he believed God was telling him he would be healed in a certain place. In the dream, Doug found himself at the top of the Minnesota Twins stadium. Smoke from a fire trapped him and he couldn’t get out. Soon a couple of guys appeared in the smoke to guide him out. In the next scene of his dream, Doug was somehow transported to the Mall of America, where he was standing naked in front of a clothing store. The storekeeper saw him and invited him into the store to clothe him.
So Doug made a trip to the Twin Cities. There he was prayed over, and he also began a stem cell transplant process. It was evident, after the first dose of chemo, however, that Doug’s body would not tolerate the procedure, and he was sent home.
Was Doug wrong in wanting healing? No, not at all. Did Doug mis-interpret this dream because of his longings. Possibly. When he told me the dream on the phone, my heart sank because I immediately recognized a different interpretation. I did not share my own reaction to Doug’s dream with him. I did not want to give up hope for life either.
Doug had a strong desire to live. He was only 34. He had children. He had a desire to minister to others. Only in his last conscious days did he recieve God’s peace and relax into a coma.
Before Doug’s funeral in Grand Forks, ND, the pastor gathered our extended family together and read II Corinthians chatper 4 to us. In this passage our bodies are likened to fragile jars of clay. This chapter ends with these words in verses 16-18
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT)
I was not familiar with this passage at that time, and was taken by it. When I got home from the funerals, I looked up that chapter and read on where I was astonished to find something so similar to Doug’s dream in verses 1-5 of II Corinthians chapter 5:
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (II Corinthians 5:1-5, NIV)
I was amazed and comforted by this passage. God clothed Doug with his heavenly dwelling….and his mortal life was swallowed up by an even greater life….eternal life with God.
I don’t know if this realization ever came to Doug before he died. But Doug’s dream and this passage gave me great comfort in the days after his death. Death does not have the final word. With God, death is swallowed up by life. Death has been trampled by the death and resurrection of Christ! Hallelujah!
We long for the time when we will be reunited forever in the loving arms of Christ.
This is the good news that Jesus brought to earth over 2000 years ago. God has conquered death for us all. The end of life on this earth is not the end of our existence. Doug would want you to know that. If he was still here, he would be sharing that good news to all who would listen. It was Doug’s desire, and it is mine, that this music and these reflections will assist you to draw near to God in the midst of whatever circumstances you find yourself in, whatever healing you are in need of, whatever grief you are experiencing. Jesus shows us the love that God has for you. May you receive that love and find healing for your soul.
I close this series with these words from Romans chapter 8 (NLT):
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.