Hebrews 9:27 tells us " ...as it is appointed unto man, once to die ....".
The word "appointed" is "Apokeimai" ... laid away, in reserve.
The word for "man" is "Anthropos" .. a human being.
That's right ... you and I have an appointment to die. And considering the expanse of time, I must think that it was God Himself, Who made that appointment.
The picture there is Mrs. Karen Scott, wife of Dr. CB Scott, who is an Associational Missions Strategist in Eastern Kentucky. This past Friday afternoon, Karen succumbed to many years' effects of MS, and died quietly at home. And from what I understand, she died exactly as she would have preferred.
I first met CB at the SBC Annual Meeting in Greensboro, NC, in the summer of 2006. We met that very next week, over lunch, and in that one meeting he became my best friend. And he still is, from 400 miles away.
He's the one guy I want on Speed Dial.
Not long after our first meeting, Peg and I went to Westmont Baptist Church, in suburban Birmingham, for a Sunday evening service. He invited us over, after the service, for coffee. That was when I first met Karen, who was suffering from MS all those years ago.
I used the word "Suffering", and I am sure she was. Even then, she was confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk, but I do not recall her ever, not once, complaining about her condition, her pain level, or the many infirmities brought by the disease. Or, for that matter, anything else. She was, in all respects, a ray of sunshine in a difficult time, and in difficult conditions.
At that time, they had 4 children in their home, taken in by their choice, from the Alabama Baptist Children's Home. While there was much she could not do, owing to the illness, she and CB saw to their upbringing. To their nurture and admonition. And they did it superbly. One of their foster sons went on to attain high, high honors in the United States Marines, serving as a Guard on Marine One, and the other became a Pharmacist in the Birmingham area.
The two daughters are still at home, and I am confident that they will carry the traits of their "Nan" with them for the rest of their lives.
Here's a picture I took about 8 years ago, at lunch with the Scotts, in our favorite Chinese Restaurant. As we were sitting there, he got a phone call from the Clerk of the Court they'd petitioned for the formal adoption of Ashley and Carrie; the Clerk told him the girls were now theirs, the Judge having signed the Interlocutory Decree.
The girls were now Ashley and Carrie Scott!
IF you'd like a further indication of how well the boys turned out, catch this: While Stephan was still in Pharmacy School, at Samford, he went to the Courthouse, paid the fee, and had his last name officially and formally changed to Scott.
Peg has lost a good friend, one with whom she shared innumerable telephone hours. Karen used to refer to that as her "Peg time", and that is and was precious to us both.
Over the years and years of fellowship with Karen and CB and the kids, I have personally been left so much richer for the experience. And I am quite sure that those memories will continue to grow and prosper and bring fruit in my life.
At least, until I see her once again.
Where there's no more MS.