“Just A Closer Walk with Thee,” – Easter, 2017

I have been to the North Carolina mountains where my paternal cousins joined together every few years since I was a toddler, over 70 years ago. My female first cousin, an ordained minister like her husband, preached to the crowds on that mountainside within the last decade, and our mutual great-grandfather, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher, had preached the same Gospel on that same mountain hillside, in 1937. He was our grandmother’s father.

The hills are as old as time, and so is the Gospel – or so it seems – and one day, what we each leave behind will ripple into eternity. I had dreamed of my great-grandfather speaking to me the night before my cousin gave her sermon, and I shared his thoughts (in my dream) with my cousin just before she had gone to the podium to preach on that same NC mountainside where he had preached to the crowds in 1937. She told me, “That is the same spiritual theme that I am about to deliver, cousin, which is: ‘There is a thin and fragile line between the living and the dead.’ My minister first cousin and I both were stunned. I had had the pressing and distinct feeling that I HAD to tell my cousin that story BEFORE she delivered her sermon, not afterwards, so I rose to tell her of it just before she rose to give her already prepared sermon to the crowd on that NC mountainside, so beloved by our family.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Celebrate that truth tomorrow, with me, if you will. I hope I can keep the words and melody of this song close at hand as I complete my life on Earth, and as I transition from this Earth into God’s Holy Spirit for eternity.

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