Life’s Lessons

Do you lie?

Do you lie?

Oh, I’m sure you lie in bed to rest, but the question really asks if you tell lies.

While most of us were raised to tell the truth, no matter what, we’ve all dropped into the accepted habit of telling lies on a daily basis.

You are asked if the clothing looks nice and, even though you think it is anything but nice, you almost automatically answer in the affirmative.

Does my hair look okay? “Sure, it always does,” even though on that day it doesn’t.

“How are you?” Even if you are feeling terrible at that particular time, your response is, again almost automatically, “I’m fine. How are you?” thereby offering the opportunity for the other person to lie as well.

So, it was yesterday.

She opened our conversation by explaining the different chair. “This is just temporary. A couple of nights ago, I couldn’t rest. It was too painful to lie in bed. I tried my recliner and that was also painful So I was walking in the common sitting area. I found this chair and tried it. One of the aides offered to trade out the two chairs and this is better.”

About three weeks ago she had greeted me with, “My cancer is back!” Knowing she lived with five different cancers, I didn’t ask which one. But yesterday she told me more.

It is the leukemia. She is receiving chemo, gets transfusions as needed and lives with constant pain. She is weak, weary and tired of the battle.

“I’m dying. Yes, I really am dying, aren’t I, Helen?” She was not looking for platitudes, just simply affirmation, so I responded, “Yes, dear friend, you are. But you know where you are going and you are ready.” We had the eternal life discussion early in our friendship when I asked who Jesus is to her and she responded, “Jesus is my Savior.”

She just doesn’t want to leave her 12 adult children and families behind. They have been planning a big celebration for her 90th birthday in July and her goal had been to live long enough that their planning would not be in vain. She didn’t want to disappoint them. Now, she has moved into acceptance of what she believes to be inevitable.

She is terribly weary of the pain which took hold a bit stronger as we visited. She shed a few tears and thanked me for the freedom to cry in my presence. “I try not to cry when my children are here, but it’s okay to cry when you’re here, isn’t it? I’m so glad you don’t have to live in pain. You don’t do you? Your back surgery took care of that, didn’t it?”

Another one of those automatic lies popped to my lips, “No, I’m not in pain. I’m fine,” though at the time I was anything but comfortable. “Okay, God, You’ll forgive me that one little lie, won’t You? It was just what she needed to hear.”

Yes, if telling a lie is a sin, then I know it is forgiven because Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.

I, too, know where I’m going when I die and, like my friend, I am ready and face no fears in that realm because I am trusting Jesus as my Savior.

What about you? Are you ready?

Do you lie?