Charlotte's Web Revisited

Gunner,  Moriah and I spend part of our day reading.  Just recently, we started reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.  I read-a-loud while the kiddos listen and 'rest.'  Sometimes they fall asleep, and sometimes they don’t.  Either way, we enjoy sharing stories together.  We read a chapter this week entitled, 'Wilbur's Boast' in the above mentioned book. In it, this conversation between two friends was recorded....
The thought of death came to him [Wilbur, the pig] and he began to tremble with fear.
"Charlotte?" He said softly.
"Yes, Wilbur?"
"I don’t want to die." 
"Of course you don’t," said Charlotte in a comforting voice.
"I just love it here in the barn," said Wilbur. "I love everything about this place."
"Of course you do," said Charlotte.  "We all do." 
The goose appeared, followed by her seven goslings. They thrust their little necks out and kept up a musical whistling, like a tiny troupe of pipers.  Wilbur listened to the sound with love in his heart.
"Charlotte?" He said.
"Yes?" Said the spider.
"Were you serious when you promised you would keep them from killing me?"
"I was never more serious in my life.  I am not going to let you die, Wilbur."........
Many of us are familiar with the story of Charlotte's Web, but maybe not this particular conversation.  It echoes what many a friend might be thinking when death is eminent...the desire to comfort and strengthen at a time of great need, and the truth is?  We will all get there someday.....on both sides of the conversation.  What would you say?  How would you reach out to comfort?
This week we said goodbye to one of our national colleagues' baby girl.  She was three months old.  She died of easily preventable disease in the States, but a devastating loss here as vaccinations are expensive and in limited supply.  What to say?  How to respond?  We stood by as a house cry went on here at the college and tried to comfort in presence by just being there....there were no words.
However, I couldn’t help but think on our Dearest of Friends, Jesus.  He doesn’t want us to be afraid of dying, and we don't have to be.  What struck me the most, however, is that He, too, is not going to LET us die, standing by and doing nothing.  He has given His life and stands ready to bridge the gap to make a way for us to go to Heaven and spend eternity with God.  We will all die, THAT is certain.  However, when that time of life comes, are you ready?  Speaking as from a friend to a friend, I pray you hear the gentleness and sincerity of my curiosity.  The fact is, we are not promised tomorrow.  We hope for it, yes, but only God knows the number of our days.  He has them written in His book every one of them before we were even born (Psalm 139:16, paraphrase).  So I ask you, friend, are you ready to meet Jesus?  If not, we are here to point you in His direction!

Gunner's reading choice....

Moriah's reading choice...