GENESIS two seven
The Passenger’s Log 04102021
II. THE VOYAGE CONTINUES
These are the voyages of the Starship GENESIS two seven, its continuing mission to seek out what is to be learned as The Passenger and crew follow the Captain into new frontiers.
If you had the chance to read the first posting of this blog, GENESIS two seven, you will already know some of the things which are fundamental to our story. (www.rossriggs.com Voyages page)The nature of the voyage – a new diagnosis of lung disease for The Passenger – me, Ross. The use of the title The Passenger is because only Christ can be Captain of this vessel and a vessel with more than one voice giving the commands creates chaos. God is a God of order and not chaos. I know nothing of the frontiers we are to travel. I have never dealt with my very own disease such as this lung disease. God can be the only one to direct where we are headed. He is the Omnipotent Creator who has fashioned these frontiers. I trust Him.
I had not expected to be posting a log entry this soon into the journey. Rather, since we are waiting on a report from the pulmonary pathologist at the Cleveland Clinic, which should be sometime around 16 April, I supposed that the next entry would be with that news update. Events of this day, however, warrant only that I note them for you as to their occurrence and to comment briefly on their meaning. As I write this, three travelers, The Passenger and two crewmates, brothers of The Passenger, are traveling to West Virginia. They carry on-board the earthly cremains of the fourth brother, gone now these past four-and-a-half months, as well as that brother’s wife’s; she gone five-years. The journey a solemn one, though not unmarked by hearty laughter and warm reminiscences.
Earlier in the day was the Celebration of Life for their brother, now past. Family members both from distant locations and from distances not created by geography came together at The Passenger’s church home to honor the brother’s memory and to embrace the future of lives to be lived without the brother’s daily touch. Bidding farewell and assured of the hope that comes only through Christ, the distances between us, real or imagined, seemed to disappear. There was more celebratory heart than there was hurt and, I trust, God was glorified.
It was this familiar touch of the familial that spurs this entry, for such touch can only be palatable when it recognizes that the enemy of life is stalking, searching out those he may devour through his own touch. Knowing such an enemy is out there, forces one to be certain he is clad in the full armor of God. Death is that enemy and to face him without the sure and certain resurrection that is in Christ is to face death as a victim. Recently, this picture caught my attention. As a veteran and as a career police officer and long-ago volunteer firefighter, I have seen death more times than I can count. I have faced death on rare occasions and perhaps even courted it. If I could change this photo, it would read, “Death Smiles at Us All, Only Those in Christ SMILE BACK.”
Pastor Brannon, a sure and certain shipmate of the GENESIS two seven, read a passage of Scripture from 1 Corinthians 15:54-56 – the sting of death is swallowed up in victory… The old gospel song, He Arose, refrains, “He arose the victor of the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign…” He is the Captain of this voyage.
Tomorrow the brothers three will travel to the mountain behind where our grandparents lived and where we spent hundreds of hours in our youth roaming the land. There, we will plant a special rose bush to honor our brother and his wife. It has been decades since we were there and it will, likely, be the last time any of us three ever return.
This first stop on the voyage is not, however, about loss or about what will never be again. It is a moment to honor what was, to rest in what is, and rejoice in what will be.
For The Passenger, it brought to mind one of the last comments he had made to Rod before Jesus ushered him home, before there was any indication The Passenger was carrying within him the beginnings of lung disease. With his brother in a medically induced coma, unsure whether he could be heard, The Passenger said, for no particular reason other than it came to mind, “I’ll see you soon brother. Maybe sooner than any of us expect.” That is not a sign of clairvoyance, for I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet! That is not a statement that now reflects any resignation by The Passenger that an early death is accepted. I believe that week would have drained The Passenger of most of his emotional and, even, physical strength. It was, I think, a simple statement of fact: life is short; much shorter than, often, we prefer it to be.
Tomorrow will dawn and upon the mountain we loved so much, we will honor our brother and then The Passenger and crew will continue the voyage, taking their headings from the Captain with great anticipation and trust.