Let me backtrack a bit in my narrative. Some three months after Della and I had been married, I suffered a massive heart attack in the shower and dropped dead. The only answer I could come up with was that the same stresses that led to the departure of my first wife and subsequent divorce also contributed to my death.
Della and I had just moved into a new home in North Pole, Alaska. We hadn’t even had the chance to get a telephone turned on, and our nearest neighbors were almost a half-mile from us. There was no chance to call for a doctor or an ambulance. Della simply reacted with instant anger at being robbed of the love of her life and new husband. She dragged my body out of the shower, out of the bathroom, and into our bedroom where she heaved and shoved my body onto the bed.
You’ll appreciate the miracle of that feat when you realize that I stood 6’2” and weighed (at the time) around 250 pounds compared to Della’s diminutive 5’ and 104-pound frame.
She proceeded to begin commanding life back into my body and yelling to God that she wasn’t going to put up with losing me. Between shouting at Satan and commanding death to depart and ordering me to come back to life, “in the Name of Jesus,” an incredible sense of faith sprang up in her being in what God had done in putting us together, and a certain knowledge that my life here was far from over.
It was no instant event, however. After about fifteen minutes, I suddenly came to with Della straddling my body, her arms upraised, and shouting, “In the Name of Jesus, you will come back!” Her eyes were closed, and it was a bit of a shock for her when I reached up and grabbed a fist that seemed certain to come down on my chest.
We look back now and laugh at that day, but it was serious business at the time. Della demanded that I get a physical checkup. I had seen a family doctor about a year prior after receiving healing from tuberculosis, so I went to see that same doctor for a complete physical.
The doctor was extremely thorough with his tests once Della told him what had happened. He walked out of his lab with two sets of X-rays in hand, shaking his head. “This is miraculous,” he said. “Here are the X-rays I took a year ago showing the scar tissue left over on your lungs from the tuberculosis; and here are the new X-rays I just took. There is no trace of scar tissue!”
His tests showed that my blood pressure was normal, an EKG was perfect, blood work came out with perfect balance. “Regner, your health is that of someone 20 years your junior. Congratulations, my friend. You are in wonderful shape!”
For the most part, it’s been that way ever since. Folks have commented throughout the years on the fact that I seem to have boundless energy and act like someone who’s a lot younger. I am! <smile> The Lord raised me from the dead and restored my health so that my “youth was renewed as the eagle’s.” In the past year and a half, another doctor has nearly repeated verbatim what that doctor said. I’m approaching my 73rd birthday and keep a schedule most 40-year-olds would struggle with.
This event repeated perhaps ten years later with a friend of ours, Marcia Treend, when we were in Atlin, British Columbia visiting and sharing with some folks. Through the years Della had become a tower of strength to many folks. One of our minister friends in Spokane, Washington – Dale Peterson – would get really tickled at Della when she would light up and begin to wax eloquent on some spiritual issue.
Dale would grab a chair or make like he was getting a box and say to Della, “Preach it, Sister Della! Here’s your soapbox. Let’s go put this in the park and you can preach to folks.” Everyone would bust out laughing.
Della has always felt that she was not qualified to be a preacher because she didn’t have the educational background of her peers, but we have encouraged her many times that the anointing of the Holy Spirit takes over for the lack of education. And so He does! Whenever the Holy Spirit anoints Della to speak on some spiritual issue, she is as eloquent and forceful – perhaps more so – than any degreed preacher you’ve ever heard.
In any case, we were in Atlin helping some friends, Kitty and Rene Loyd, fix up a building on skids into a pretty rough guest house. Rene, Earle Treend (Marcia’s husband) and I were laying linoleum while Della, Kitty and Marcia were sharing together at the Loyds’ log home.
Outside the log house was a sidewalk of sorts, constructed on timbers and logs with 2 X 4’s, 2 X 8’s, and 2 X 10’s for planks. The sidewalk had been constructed to provide a walkway across an area where the spring melt caused a lot of water to flow, creating really muddy conditions.
The ladies decided to walk down to the building where we were working and check on our labors. As they were walking, Marcia stepped on a 2 X 10 plank that had come loose. The combination of where she walked and the weight of her body leveraged the plank, and it flew up, striking her on her temple.
It was a pretty good blow, and it stunned her. She lost her balance, of course, and began to fall. The weight of her falling body hit it just right, and again it flew up, striking her in virtually the same place. This time, she dropped like a rock. Della was there to catch her and cushion her fall.
As Della cradled Marcia in her arms, her eyes rolled back in her head and she expired. The color drained from her face. Della heard the same death rattle from her throat she had heard from me when I collapsed nearly ten years earlier. Kitty was in shock at seeing her friend killed like that, but Della had presence of mind to say to her, “Kitty, go get some pillows so we can lay her head down.”
Kitty turned to leave and headed for the house. In that moment, Della saw the Spirit of Death visibly coming for Marcia. When I say, visibly, that’s exactly what I mean. She saw the Spirit of Death as a dark entity approaching as though it were a person.
Then she looked down at Marcia and simply spoke her name – loudly, of course, “MARCIA !!”
Marcia’s eyes opened, color flooded her face and she looked up at Della. “What happened? Where am I? Please don’t leave me.”
The sound of Della’s voice speaking so loudly brought us out of the building where we had been working. We were perhaps a hundred and fifty feet away, and when we saw the sight of Della helping Marcia to her feet and Kitty waving her arms, we ran to help. Marcia was escorted back into the house where she laid down on the sofa.
I grabbed my guitar (I rarely travel without it) and began to worship the Lord. The rest joined with me, and we worshiped for perhaps 45 minutes. Marcia got to her feet, shook herself and said, “Wow! I feel great!” Later that same afternoon, we all went hiking up into the mountains. Except for some bruising on her face and the side of her head that disappeared within a couple of days, you would never have known that anything untoward had happened.
I wish I could take the time to tell you of Della’s songwriting, her scripture songs, her singing, her playing the keyboards, her preaching, her authority in God, her strong stance with all of our children — including my four from my first marriage who are as much Della’s as mine — and how they’ve come to admire and depend on her. It would fill many books.
Oops! I almost forgot one thing: the bottle. Psalm 56:8 says,“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
There has long been a tradition at Jewish weddings in which they take a glass after they have drunk together and smashed the glass. It comes from an ancient tradition of smashing a bottle at a wedding. The bottle represented the tears of the bride in the years before her wedding — tears shed from suffering, tears shed from awaiting the coming of her Beloved.
When she and I were married, the Lord spoke to Della and reminded her of the bottle. He said to her, “I have thrown away all your tears. They are gone forever.” For a wedding gift, Della made me a diamond and gold nugget tie tac. It is shaped as a tear, and it is a constant reminder of the promise of the Lord. I made an identical pendant for Della to wear on a necklace.
That statement has nothing whatever to do with the color of the Shulamite’s skin. It is rooted in the understanding that God has created a counterpart — an “other self” so to speak — for each person, one who fulfils and completes them in the same way that Eve fulfilled and completed Adam. The statement,“I am black,” comes from the weariness from the search for that one who will complete — and the statement applies to both men and women. We see Jeremiah using the same statement on God’s behalf as He speaks of the search for His people. (See Jeremiah 8:21)
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: Subscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to Unsubscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.