Carol passed late Wednesday afternoon, October 12, 2016 — and I’ve been writing periodically the past few months regarding what we’re going through and what we hopefully are learning in this time of dealing with Carol’s health issues. This was one of the most personal, and revealing testimonies about Carol’s life and her influence … from someone we know and trust.
“In hope-filled memory of Carol McCann Dew.
How many of you have ever experienced something like this – you are in a place, you participate in an event, or you meet with a person, and when you are done you just feel icky, dirty, yuk? Some things, some people, can make you feel defiled. As a friend of mine once said after a particularly difficult interaction with someone, “I feel like I’ve just been puked on.” And so I’ve been thinking about this question, “When people leave me, how do they feel?” Wednesday night/Thursday morning my mother-in-faith, Mama Carol, went to be with Jesus. This morning in church, pastor mentioned the mikvah – a pool of water specifically set aside under the Jewish law for ritual cleansing. As pastor talked about the mikvah and John’s baptism my mind went back to an interaction I had with Carol about three or four years ago. I was looking across a room toward where she was and I felt like I saw a pool of water spread out at her feet. I felt moved by the Holy Spirit in that moment so I went over and I shared with her that I felt God was making her like a Pool of Bethesda so that people who came and “dipped” themselves in the pool that spread from her life could be healed. What’s the connection? The mikvah is the place of Jewish baptism – immersion in the mikvah is the gateway to purity. When John was baptizing people for repentance, he was using the Jordan River, which was a primal mikvah. A mikvah may be a manmade pool or it may be primal, like a river, a stream, or the ocean, the key is that a mikvah has “living water” – water that has come straight from heaven to earth. Jesus said “as the Scripture has said” the one who believes in him would have streams of “living water” flowing out from within them. So because we have now received Holy Spirit living water is now flowing out from us. One of the Scriptures that Jesus was referring to was Ezekiel 47 which tells us that wherever that living water flows, it brings life. So here is where my memories of Carol took me this morning. You all know that your physical body is a temple of the Holy Spirit but have you ever thought of yourself as a mikvah? If there is a stream of living water flowing from each of us then logically any place where we rest a pool of living water is going to form around us.
So while our physical bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit could the physical space around us become the mikvah, a place of living water were people immerse themselves as a gateway to purity? Wherever the river flows, Ezekiel wrote, it brings life. What if we could become mikvah for someone so that every time they were with us they felt cleaner, brighter, purified and refreshed in a way that they felt nowhere else? What if I could enter into someone else’s valley of tears in a way that the living waters flowing from me create mikvah in their lowest places? Would not the person who felt themselves continually bathed in the mikvah eventually find their way to the Source even as those baptized by John found their way to Jesus? So I ask myself today, as one great mikvah been gathered home in Mama Carol, who will fill in the low places now? For me, this will be Carol’s legacy – the challenge to live as a cleansing presence; the challenge to live in such a way that that streams of living water create mikvah in all the low places around me.”
This is Bill now: As I read this, I thought this picture was what he described.