Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An Easter to Remember

This was an unusual Easter Day. I went to our community sunrise service on Sunday morning as usual, but the events of the last hymn gave depth to the day. We were singing “Low in the Grave he Lay”, when I noticed activity in the pew across the aisle, about three people away from me. Some people were trying to rouse a man who had remained seated as we all stood to sing. As we reached the second verse, “Death cannot keep his prey …”, they laid him on the pew and one of them began CPR. I learned later that she was someone we know from supper club at our church, who works as an emergency nurse. Most people could not see what was happening, and we finished the hymn well: “He arose! Christ arose!” But it looked to me as though the man across the aisle had just died with those words in his ears.

As we left, ambulance personnel began to provide care for him. I learned later that he did revive, after a probable heart attack. He is an elderly man (perhaps in his mid-80s), with a history of heart trouble, but the experience gave depth and added meaning to the words we sang. As I walked home I remembered that it was 25 years ago on Easter Sunday that Dad Heise died. Mother woke Lois and me up at about 4:30 with Uncle Jesse on the phone. We spent the day (which we had planned to spend with my parents before driving back to Kentucky) driving to Ohio, and then the family time and funeral. Easter is a special amazing time of the year, in which the old words ring out full of meaning and hope and joy, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”

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