“When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:54
It was the dog that caught my attention after we had prayed together and talked of Heaven.
I had been called in the middle of the night to pray at the dying woman’s bedside. I was there to offer words of comfort and reassurance to her family. We shared the wonderful ways loved ones in Heaven make their presence known — sometimes in dreams or other signs. I read Scripture that reminds us of God’s grace through Jesus who prepares a place for us and comes to take us to our new home. We talked about the spiritual and emotional aspects of this journey and shared stories of witnessing sacred moments when someone passes from this life to the next. We prayed together; then I noticed the dog.
It was laying just outside the room, this pet of the sleepy security guard. I asked if this is where the dog usually sleeps, and the staff said no. But many animals that live in nursing homes and offer residents comfort also sense when the end is near. This woman would be leaving us tonight to enter God’s kingdom. And there was the dog with us, was providing another witness to the sacred moment when death is swallowed up in victory. The dog was sharing for us one more sign of God’s care and love.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for all of your creatures and for the ways in which Heaven and Earth are connected. Bless all who serve the dying. Amen.
Deaconess Cheryl Plummer, Royal Oak, MI