By Ada Brownell
EXCERPT FROM SWALLOWED BY LIFE:
MYSTERIES OF DEATH, RESURRECTION AND THE ETERNAL
An old gentleman leaned on his cane and peered into the cherry-red 1923 Model T Roadster. It glistened like a new car, but just a few years earlier had rested in decay almost forgotten.
“This is just like the first car I ever had,” he said, a twinkle in his eyes.
He and his son were examining four antique cars brought to a senior care center as part of the National Nursing Home Week celebration.
The man, like the Model T, was almost an antique himself.
Before the old car found redemption, from the front bumper down to the brown leather on the rumble seat, the old Ford stood waiting for one last trip—to the junkyard. Many vehicles like it have been retrieved from gullies, from behind the barn, and from buildings and junkyards, metal-consuming rust eating away at running boards, fenders, hoods, engines, and other vital parts.
Rust is the reddish-orange coating of ferric hydroxide, the substance that causes oxidation of metal in the car’s body. When metal rusts, it breaks down until its elements disappear into the air and into the earth, leaving holes.
Doctors tell us oxidation occurs in the human body, too, as we age and develop diseases. We aren’t eaten by rust, but oxidation causes cell damage, and that is why nutritionists recommend we consume foods rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries and green tea. In the human body, life-essential oxygen combusts and produces by-products referred to as oxygen free radicals, which cause aging.
Oxidation is part of the second law of thermodynamics, a scientific term we seldom talk about but see all the time when there is a loss of electrons in an atom. Every barn you see with the roof caved in is an example of this law, which says in simple terms that everything eventually falls apart because energy becomes less organized with time.
Our bodies do the same thing. As we age our sight grows dim, the ears less discerning of sounds. Our memory slows. Our muscles and joints don’t work as well. Our skin wrinkles. Our cardiovascular system becomes clogged or diseased. Our lungs and vocal cords exhibit wear and tear. The body’s defense weakens and diseases take up residence in us. Then, like an old automobile, one functioning organ goes, and then another, until the loss of a vital part is enough to kill.
Death for the human body is connected to the degradation of matter. Our mortal flesh isn’t designed to last forever. Unless taken by death prematurely, like the unrestored Model T covered in rust and with an engine that won’t run, the human body wears out or just quits.
As I explained before, I started studying about death and life after we lost our beautiful eldest daughter, Carolyn, to cancer in 1990. A born-again Christian who could quickly tell someone else what to believe, I found my faith challenged.
When I knew Carolyn was dying, over and over I prayed, tears streaming down my face, my insides feeling ripped out, “Where are you, God?”
My guts twisted with anger and doubt. Fear choked me as I wondered if what Jesus said about eternal life was really true.
I’d heard and read what the Bible has to say. It says at death we will immediately be with the Lord (Luke 23:43, Ecclesiastes 12:6–8) and at the resurrection, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, our flesh will be changed into an immortal body with all-new parts that never age, get sick, or die—even if that flesh has already turned to dust.
Probably because of my experiences and what I learned on the medical beat at the newspaper, I decided to investigate if there is evidence we are more than a mere body.
I knew a journalist’s assignment sometimes goes beyond the obvious. Facts aren’t material objects that can be felt or seen. Through testimony and evidence, truth can be learned. Interviewing witnesses, experts, and victims and making visits to the scene help a reporter present facts to the public.
Yet, when the story is all told, newspaper readers or television viewers react differently. Some believe what is reported; others do not. Some doubt the reliability of the reporter. Others assume the media conspires to deceive the public. A few believe the persons interviewed are liars.
Those who believe take the plunge into faith. I took that plunge and believe Jesus when He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:26).
No matter what you believe about life after death, it takes faith. But there is evidence, and the eyewitnesses' testimony is recorded in the Bible. It's your decision.
©Copyright Ada Brownell 2012
SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal
By Ada Brownell
Do you know evidence shows we’re more than a physical body? The author, a prolific religion writer and retired medical journalist, talks about the evidence; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration; mysteries surrounding the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; and a glimpse at what we will do in heaven. Questions and answers make this non-fiction inspirational book a great text for group study. It’s written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving, and those who give them counsel.
An excerpt from Swallowed by Life was featured in the June 2, 2013, “Reading for Spiritual Health” edition of The Pentecostal Evangel.
Where you can find Swallowed by Life:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/JnbKVL
And you can see reviews on GoodReads http://ow.ly/cJmMe
Christian Publishers Outlet also has the paperback
Ada Brownell bio
Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a B.S. degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo., where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers.
She is author of Imagine the Future You, a Bible study; Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, fiction released Jan. 15, 2013; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, Bible study released Dec. 6, 2011; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House in 1978, out- of-print but released in 2012 for Kindle. All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06