In 7 verses of Deuteronomy 34, the Bible tells of Moses viewing the promised land from Mount Pisgah. There aren’t many details: He saw. He was told he could not lead the Israelites over. He died (many believe God took him).
If one is lucky enough to grow old, the acknowledgement that not all one’s dreams will come true is a sobering, sad, humbling and inevitable truth. Our time is limited, and so are we. How does one finish with optimism, even when we have significant unfinished business?
At what age does a person reach a “tipping point” and stop fearing death?
At what point can a person say “I’m ready” to die, to meet God, to see what’s next?
What’s it like to be the oldest surviving member of one’s family or group of friends?
When a person has been relevant for decades, what’s it like to realize that one’s time of leadership is over?
How hard is it to step back and pass the baton to others?
What’s it like to look back on a life full of effort realizing that some cherished dreams will never come true?
What do we do with our Book of Regrets? How do we limit the reach of life-altering mistakes?
How many people end up with a life that is far different than what they expected?
Do we really begin to see and feel the next life in a more tangible way as we approach our death?
Will death feel like returning home? Will we feel joy at our death – will we want to “run home”?
Do we know the God to whom we are returning?
Are we ready to die?
When Bruce came to visit us in 2018, I asked him to record this song demo. This is a tender song for anyone, but it is especially so for a man who has recently buried his beloved. We halted takes for tears, multiple times. What a wonderful job he did capturing the humble, strong, tired and faith-filled Moses!
My BFF, Lynna Burton, was my anchor and encourager through all productions of my musicals. Both she and her equally-talented husband, Bruce, were in every show and my heart broke a little when they moved away from Green Bay. In December of 2017, my heart really broke when Bruce called to tell me Lynna had died. Oh, how I miss her!
I envy the man who gets to sing this on stage every night. I invite you to listen to this song repeatedly – enough so that you can sing it yourself. Singing these lyrics – and imagining one is speaking with God – is life changing:
Take me home! Take me into your arms.
I am not afraid, for I know you!
Death is just a portal between earth and heaven, between here and there.
While I like this painting, it carries an emotion that I don’t get from Moses. As I played around with it, I found that if I cropped it to show just the top half of the face, it more fully captured the faith and hope and love Moses felt. In my mind, Moses is not carrying fear or worry. In my mind, he is expectant, hopeful and ready to be with God.
(ITALIAN, 1699 – 1760) Study of old man