Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sharing Christ With the Dying (Book Review)

When I requested a review copy (at no cost to me) of Sharing Christ With the Dying, by Melody Rossi, I expected it to be about sharing Christ with those nearing the end of life.  And it is, but it's much more than that.

First, let me share the publisher's description:
Melody Rossi saw God work in the hearts of three close family members after she had nearly given up hope that they might believe before dying. As their hearts softened to the gospel message she witnessed their spiritual births.
These experiences inspired Melody to write this practical book filled with hope, joy, and wisdom. When your friend or family member is facing death, here is the help you need to share Christ in loving, nonconfrontational ways. It will show you how to 

  • Serve in ways that speak louder than words
  • Respond to signs of spiritual openness
  • Discuss matters of eternal importance
  • Cope with the ups and downs of this difficult time
In addition, it offers you spiritual care, answering your questions about end-of-life issues, and addressing your grief and loss.
Sharing Christ With the Dying is divided into four parts:
  • Who Shall Go? (why we would want to take on this work)
  • What You Need Along the Way (signs of openness, answers to common questions, and practical advice on hospice as well as support for the caregiver)
  • No Turning Back (staying on track in difficult times, plus practical information on making arrangements)
  • Journey's End (the last days of life and how to grieve well)
Author Melody Rossi has walked alongside family members and friends as they neared the end of their lives on earth.  She knows of what she speaks, and her examples are encouraging.

I was happily surprised that the book contains so much practical information about topics like hospice, insurance, and paperwork.  It's about more than sharing Christ:  it's also about helping caregivers cope with physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue.  I believe that a resource like Sharing Christ With the Dying will help caregivers in practical and spiritual ways as they provide comfort and show the love of Christ.

What was especially interesting to me is the chapter called "Physical Changes."  I'll share a paragraph from the beginning of the chapter:
There are specific physical changes that occur before the time of death.  Knowing these will empower you and make you more effective in three significant ways.  First, this is your last call for taking care of unfinished spiritual business.  If you have been waiting for an appropriate time, this is it.  You may have been quietly working in the background, serving, gaining trust, and following the lead of the Holy Spirit.  Now it is time to come forward and be completely frank with your loved one, for it is truly now or never.
(The second and third ways?  Second, understanding the physical changes to expect "will keep you from panicking or overreacting."  Third, "knowing the visible signs of death ... will help you see the finish line.")

I am definitely telling friends about Sharing Christ With the Dying and keeping a copy on my shelf for whenever I need it!

Links for more information:

1 comment :

  1. as sad as it is, with my grandparents getting older, this might be a read my mom needs to look at


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