In the 7th chapter of Acts, there is something so rare in all of Scripture, I believe it is the only instance where it takes place. It is a record of the death of a believer. This happens to be the stoning of Stephen, and he happened to be a martyr, but I believe this could be a template for what happens—somewhere along the route—for every believer as they pass from "this body of death" into Life Everlasting.
PRAYER REFLECTING ON THE BELIEVER'S DEATH
As I come to this hour,
However expected or unexpected,
However long or short its duration,
I come to know certain truths.
I realize that however long
You have given me to prepare,
The very moment itself will arrive—
I am so earthbound,
I know no other life.
How can even my wildest imagination
Visualize the terrain of a life even greater.
I know, too,
That whether isolated,
Or surrounded by family, friend, or foe,
I must step through the veil,
And leave this planet—
Yet not alone!
And never unexpected!
In that final moment,
As the things of earth grow dim,
And the veil thins to a mist,
I will behold Your glory,
And Your son—
Standing to greet me.
You will not abandon me.
The grave is not my final place,
I follow the Path of Life that You have shown me,
And it leads me into Your presence—
Your very presence!
And I am filled with joy.
As a child, Marcia Gunnett Woodard was an avid reader, often disappearing into a book for days at a time. By her late teen years she realized that she wanted to be able to use words to weave a spell that drew the reader into the story, like her favorite authors did. Since then, she has enjoyed trying her hand at a variety of writing forms, including fiction, poetry, and theatre scripts.
Although she still lives less than 100 miles from her birthplace, she has traveled internationally and has shared her thoughts with groups as near as a local university and as far away as Vladimir, Russia.
When she isn't writing, she enjoys camping, traveling, sewing, playing word games, and surrounding herself with family (her husband and their children and grandchildren) and friends (both real and imaginary).
Marcia firmly believes in the power of story. Since learning that the words parable and parabola have the same origins, she considers her writing to be a catapult, using the parabolic arc of story to launch projectiles of truth into walled-off hearts and barricaded minds.
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