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Growing older brings emotions closer to the surface, for some of us anyway. Using a sentimental illustration in a sermon or singing a song that touches our hearts becomes difficult.

While I do not fear death, I dread the prolonged pain or loss of mental faculties that often precede death. A frequent prayer leader at Memphis’ Union Avenue church, when I was a kid, often led us to pray, “And when our time comes to cross the chilly waters of Jordan, give us a peaceful hour in which to cross and a home safe on the other side.” I greatly desire that “peaceful hour in which to cross.”

A phrase in “Because He Lives,” brings the same thought to mind. “And then one day I’ll cross that river; I’ll fight life’s final war with pain; and then as death gives way to vict’ry, I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.”

“O Sacred Head Now Wounded” has, “Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for Thee.”

“Listen to Our Hearts,” has, “We will use the words we know to tell you what an awesome God you are. But words are not enough to tell you of our love, so listen to our hearts.”

An audible sob wells up in my throat as I think those thoughts when I sing those songs.

Cecil May Jr.
Preacher Talk
Faulkner University

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