Monday, July 27, 2015

Talking to the Dead

This week you'll be hearing from my blogger friend D. Baksai. It feels like my chronic back pain is going away, but like widowhood, it's often "one step forward, two steps back..." And, like widowhood pain, I know it won't last forever, PTL! My stand-up desk top should arrive by mid-August and maybe that will give me a little more than 20 minutes to post blogs, answer emails, Facebook, etc! But you keep praying for me, and I'll keep praying for you. Please quit asking God to give me patience though! (I'm teasing). I'm learning a lot, but I cherish the sermon I heard last week which boiled it down to "Prayer is simply asking and receiving so God will work in our lives and we will see His reality." How plain and simple is that?
My guest blogger has some great posts for us this week: today, Wednesday and Thursday. They will make you think and smile and relate! She writes so well and I appreciate her sharing and help. Comment at the bottom of these posts, or visit her blog SUNDAY MOURNINGS.  
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Talking to the Dead
My PhotoMany times since my husband Paul passed away I have spoken to him out loud as if he could hear me. Mostly I say things like "Wow! You wouldn't believe what just happened." or "Well, I guess you were right about that." I have even had a few choice words to say when something breaks around the house that I have no idea how to fix.

Just the other day I was trying to reattach the belt to the vacuum when I yelled "Why didn't you show me how to do this? This is the worst vacuum I have ever seen!" Of course, I never get a reply, but I can imagine that he would say something like "Don't tell me about it, you are the one who wanted to buy that vacuum."

When Paul first passed away I would go to bed at night and say "Goodnight" to him. It wasn't because I expected a response, but because it was what I was used to. I guess it made me feel close to him. In some ways it's the same reason I sometimes want to hold on to my grief, I'm afraid if I stop grieving I will forget the one man in my life who loved me most.

I recall at one of the first grief support groups I attended there were a couple of women talking about going to see a well-known medium in hopes of a chance to "speak" to their dead husbands. My reaction at the time was "Whoa, I'm in the wrong group and I'm out of here!"  As I look back I can understand why they felt such a need to hear something from their loved one. They just weren't ready to let them go.

People can sometimes be so desperate to hear from a deceased loved one that they make a complete error in judgement and seek a medium.

What could the dead tell the living that would be of any consequence unless it's "Oh Honey, I forgot to tell you that I have a million dollar insurance policy, or, I left that winning Lotto ticket in my pants pocket, so don't give them to the Goodwill."  I haven't heard that story on the news. No, the deceased just sends a message to their loved one that they "love them." Didn't they know that already?

Ecclesiastes 9:5 "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten."  Sound harsh? My husband hasn't said anything to me since he passed away. He no longer receives a pension, can buy a new car, live in our home,  or receive any good thing from this world, and in another of couple generations his descendants will look at his picture and say "Who is that?"

To me he is a precious memory that I keep alive by watching videos and looking at pictures and remembering all the great times we had together. But consulting a medium to talk to him? Here are a couple things the Bible has to say about the subject:

Leviticus 19:31 - "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God."

Leviticus 20:6 - "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and will cut him off from his people."

Isaiah 8:19 - "When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?"

I Chronicles 10:13-14 - "Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance and did not inquire of the Lord.  So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David." (italics added)

In 1 Samuel 28, Saul visited the Witch of Endor and sought to bring Samuel back from the dead. In Matthew Henry's commentary regarding this account, he states, "Those that expect any good counsel or comfort otherwise than from God, will be as wretchedly disappointed as Saul was."

Acts 16:16 - Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17)This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18) She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!"

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 - "for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising then if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness."

1 Timothy 4:1 - "The spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."

Satan masquerading as an angel of light, deceiving spirits, things taught by demons?  There is NOTHING I need to know or say, not even curiosity that can persuade me to seek out a spiritist. Not even that Vacuum cleaner belt!

If this doesn't seem right to you, follow the example of the Bereans and examine the scriptures to find the truth.

Acts 17:11 -"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

Be blessed!

 © 2014 by D. Baksai. Used by permission. Visit her blog, Sunday Mournings and view the original post and comments here: http://baksai.blogspot.com/2014/06/talking-to-dead.html

9 comments:

  1. It IS OK to talk to my husband, though. Is it not? I certainly do not expect an answer from him but I tend to say things like "I wonder what you would do about this" and "Oh, this is goofy, isn't it Eddie." I certainly hope I am not sinning by just talking like that. Please tell me if I am.

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    1. No, no, no, I think what you're referring to is like our author mentioned at first---she talked to her husband too! It's a habit, it's like talking to yourself. Or like I talk to my cats. Harmless. We're not looking for or expecting any sort of answer, sign, or guidance. It would get sinful when one disobeys the many examples from Scripture of "what not to do."
      Talking as you do is helping you work through this huge change of life and I expect it will begin to taper off after it's run its course.

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    2. Oh, I still do it! Not as much as I did at first, but I do sometimes. I think after talking to him everyday for so many years,it just seems like the natural thing to do. I'll say, "Paul, you wouldn't believe what just happened," or "Why didn't you tell me that?" I just don't expect to get an answer. He's not able to answer me anymore, not even through a "Medium."

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  2. Thank you D. Baksai for these reaffirming truths. About a year and a half ago a recent widow came to visit me in my grief and said "for solace I talk to my husband all the time, I know he is with me" I responded by a strange look to her ( saying nothing vocal) and then she said "don't you believe you can talk to Thomas? I said " there is no place in scripture this is supported and I believe it would be setting him up as an idol in the place of God, the Lord desires that we should come to him and talk ".
    God promises us in his word his gift of the Holy Spirit is with us and in us and will lead and guide us into all truth. (sometimes we get side tracked). However I do believe because of the heaviness and shock of grief it causes us (myself included) to grasp towards and lean upon every crutch and prop to alleviate the intenseness of our suffering.

    A couple weeks after Thomas's homegoing I went to the cemetery and removed the wilted flowers and as I was walking towards the dumpster to throw them away - the Lord so reminded me of this wonderful promise in scripture where the angel spoke to Mary at the tomb saying "He is not here He has risen why do you seek the living among the dead"? Still to this very day I know he is with the Lord and look forward with the joy and hope of one day being reunited.

    We never quit missing them because we never quit loving them
    .
    Dodi

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    1. Wise words Dodi, our husbands are no longer with us, nor can they speak to us. It's possible we will always miss them, but like you said so beautifully, "we never quit missing them because we never quit loving them." The hard days and heaviness of grief will eventually lighten though as long as we don't treat their memory as an idol and fill our thoughts with "if onlys..." Thank you for your compassionate insights today! (And thank you for the lovely note you sent me last week, it was perfect).

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    2. If there was a "like" button I would hit it!

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  3. My mother died a few days ago. As my sisters and I sat with the pastor yesterday I heard my sisters stating those false comforts. "She will always be with us. She is looking down on us." I wanted to scream.

    When Jim died I sobbed and wailed, "Give him back God." My logical mind knew that wouldn't happen but my heart wanted it to be so.

    As we go through the funeral and time of mourning my mothers loss I will now respond, "Yes she will always be alive in our memories and love."

    Thank you.Debbie

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    1. I pray the Lord will give you and your sisters peace in your time of loss. It's so hard to let our loved ones go. I'm so sorry.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, Debbie. I refer to those false comforts as "greeting card theology." It's sure not found in the Bible. You understand the truth though, and your thoughtful response it much more appropriate. I'll be praying for you over these next few days as you deal with the funeral and all it entails.

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