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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fear of Death

When I was a little girl, we had a beloved white cat named Layairteese. (yes, that's how I spelled the Shakespearean name.)  Oh, he was beautiful, with long, lustrous white fur and the greenest eyes.
Affectionate, too.
He'd lie on my bed and I'd stroke his fur, warmed by the afternoon sun, and gaze into his sleepy eyes.
He purred so loud it'd make me laugh.
I loved Layairteese.
One day, my pet got sick.
At first, it didn't seem so serious.
But the next day, he seemed even worse off.
We should have taken him to the vet, but we were pretty poor in those days. A trip to the vet would have been financially impossible.
Dad had taken our only car to work and would be away till late at night.
By night-time, poor Layairteese seemed near death. We tried to tend him, but there didn't seem to be anything we could do for him.
He died horribly, with all of us youngsters watching in shock and hysterics.
My mother put him in a box and laid it outside in the garage until we could bury him.
I sneaked out and looked at him, wondering at his cold, still body. I'd never been so close to any dead thing and I could not wrap my seven-year old mind around how dead things are.
Witnessing Layairteese's death so traumatized me that I became depressed. I hid in my room after school each day and thought about how horrible death is.
One day I, too, would end up in a box, all cold and still.
Is that the very end of me? The thought of death terrified me.
I guess all children have to come to grips with death around that age. At least it hadn't been a close friend or relative that had died.
Seven years later, a Sunday School teacher shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me: that without Christ, our spirits are already in that box, all cold, stiff and still, and one day our bodies will go that same direction, too.
The teacher said that I don't have to end up that way. There was another One who died and was put in a cold dark tomb.
But He didn't stay there. Death could not hold Him. Because He is God!
He came back to life and lives now. He'll live forever.
The teacher said, I can also live forever if I put my trust in Jesus Christ.
He took my death upon Himself so I don't have to die.
I remembered Layairteese and the horror of his death. That was my fate, as well.
Darkness, misery, no hope, fear, disease, stench.
All of that was inside me.
I wanted it GONE.
I knelt and received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.
The Gospel is simple, so simple that a child of fourteen can understand.
Praise the Lord that because He died, I don't have to.
I'm not afraid of death anymore.

"Where, O death is your victory?
Where, O death is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15:55-57)


  1. Amen! Praise the Lord for faithful Sunday school teachers!

    Jesus indeed took the sting out of death! Praise His Holy Name!

    He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! :-)