Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Shadow Here, A Reality There

I love the Twilight books.

I am not a Twi-hard in the sense that I have watched all the movies (most, not all), collected all the merchandise, gone ga-ga over Robert Pattinson or shown up at midnight viewings of the films, but I have read all the books. Several times. And I've thoroughly enjoyed them.

I'm not going to go into the oft-repeated debate about whether Stephanie Meyer is a good writer or not. Sick to death of reading/hearing it. She wrote a riveting story. I loved the story. The end.

A few days ago, our church lost a beloved woman to an aggressive battle with leukemia. It was short-lived and quick, and she was gone, leaving a hole in many, many people's hearts. This morning, as I was getting myself ready for the day, I was thinking about this woman and the many gifts with which she blessed the church. She impressed me so much each time I saw her in church. She always remembered my children's names, all three of them. She always asked how they were doing, if my oldest was doing well in preschool, how my middle child was doing as the only boy, etc. etc. Little details that most people don't take the trouble to ask about, much less think about, and come back later asking for more.

Her gift, to our family, was caring. She really cared about our kids, even though we weren't necessarily in the inner circle of her friends.

I wondered this morning as I was thinking of her how much more pronounced that gift of caring is in heaven; if here on earth, that's just a shadow of what her real gift is in heaven.

In Twilight, for those of you who haven't read it, or don't care to, let me summarize. The Cullens are a family of vampires who resist the "normal" way of vampire living, choosing instead to live as vampire-vegetarians - for lack of a better word - choosing to eat only animals, and thus, co-existing with humans in an almost normal fashion. Each of the Cullens have a "gift" of sorts. Edward can hear the thoughts of most humans around him. Alice can read the future, though granted, since the future is always changing depending on a person's decision, her gift is pretty subjective. Jasper can calm people around him by simply being in the same room with them. Carlisle has a gift for healing. Esme, a tremendous ability to love. Emmet has brute strength, and Rosalie is stubborn to a fault. 

Before each of these characters were transformed into their vampire state, they each had propensities for these gifts. Edward, in his human form, had been exceptionally sensitive toward people's thoughts and feelings around him. Alice had had a form of precognition. Jasper was a persuasive leader with a lot of influence over other people, etc. etc. etc.

As I thought of this woman in our church this morning, and as I delved yet again into another read-through of Twilight, I wondered what my "gift" would be. I doubt very much that our "ministry" to others is done when we get to heaven. I think we will still use the gifts God gave us as we worship Him in eternity, still serving, still loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.

Perhaps I'll be the pianist in the heavenly southern gospel choir. Maybe I'll be a scribe. Whatever God's continuing plan for me is after I've finished my blip of time here on this planet, I'm super excited to see what comes next. 'Cause, since God planned it, it's going to be a good one. :)


  1. I loved the twilight books until the very end. I was disappointed in the final 'battle' or what have you. :) With that being said, I have often wondered what my gift is and what it will be in the future. Not my future here on earth, but THE future. it's fun to think about.

  2. Right there with you, Sarah. The 4th book was my least favorite of the series - I would have loved it even more if she had wrapped up the loose ends after book 3 and left it. Maybe she was contracted for four books with her publishing company and felt like she had to stretch it out, even if the story seemed like it could have been done after book 3. :) The final ending did seem to leave much to be desired after such a big build-up. Still, the rest of the story leading up to that, I really enjoyed. :) Whatever your gifts are here and in the future, it's exciting to think about how truly incredible they are because they are God-given. :)

  3. Never read a twilight book BUT I did know the lady of which you speak. I just attended the "Celebration of her life" service and it was inspiring. She had the ability to relate to all people. She blessed many people with her cards and words of encouragement via email and snail mail. The pastor said, "I think she single handly kept the postal service going". It does give one pause, to think "what will my legacy be?".

    1. She was a great woman. I was amazed at her thoughts for our family, even though we didn't necessarily interact all that often. It was a challenge for me to remember that there are so many more people out there than the ones I interact with every day, and some surely would appreciate a kind word or an encouraging sentence now and then. Great incentive for me to keep writing. :)