Even The Greatest Talkers, Can Be Left Speechless

Sometimes when you figure you have heard everything, in amazement, you find out you haven’t. Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, called yesterday to tell me he found himself speechless recently. In the years, that I have known Ed, I have never known him not to be able to make a comment on everything and anything. I could not imagine what would have happened that Ed was left dumbfounded except winning the lottery after a lifetime of trying.

It seems that Ed was visiting an old friend and they were talking together when his friend had a sudden shortness of breath and slumped in his chair. Almost immediately, he became unresponsive. His friend’s wife called 911, and the response was quick, but his friend could not be helped. Death was both sudden and astonishingly final. Ed was in a shock that tied-up his tongue in speechlessness for several hours. When he called me, Ed was still shaken that death had struck without warning to his friend. Being blindsided by the death of a loved one does leave us at a loss for words.    

I told Ed of a story that went back to the Viet Nam War in 1971. A shell exploded on a young soldier’s body so that the only thing left were his dog tags. The army sent the dog tags back home, and his parents held a funeral service for their son who had been killed in action. They grieved and tried to accept the death of their only child. Shortly after that, the war ended, and soldiers and prisoners of war began to return home from Viet Nam.

One day, the telephone rang; the mother of the soldier who had been killed by a bomb picked up the phone. The voice on the phone said, “Mother, it’s your son.” The woman had a shortness of breath and a stab in her heart. She was astonished and asked in anguish, “Is this some kind of cruel joke?” The voice said, “No, this is your son, I have been a prisoner of war, and have just been released. I am calling to tell you that I am alive.” His parents were absolutely, astonished, astounded, awestruck, and dumbfounded to learn their dead son was alive.

Death only seems to have the upper hand. On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb where Jesus had been laid in his death. There was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone sealing the tomb and sat on it. The guards at the tomb became stricken like dead men.

The angel said that Jesus was not in the tomb because he had risen from the dead. He invited the women to look, into the tomb and see for themselves. They were instructed to tell Jesus’ disciples that Jesus was alive and they would see him in Galilee. On their way to tell the disciples, they met Jesus and worshiped him. They saw for themselves, “He’s alive!”

Death could not hold Jesus. Up from the grave, Jesus arose proclaiming the victory of life over death. We trust in Jesus who promised, “Because I live, you also will live.”

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