Category Archives: Afterlife

Tie A Yellow Ribbon

I remember being touched by the popular song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon.” It tells of a man who’s been sent to prison. He’s served his time and is now coming home on the bus. But he admits that she who once loved him has every right to reject him. He’s to blame. So he’s written to tell her that if she forgives him, she should “tie a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree.” If there’s no yellow ribbon, he’ll just go riding by on the bus.

As the miles roll by, all the man thinks about is that oak tree. When he gets home, will there be a yellow ribbon on it?

The song ends in triumph with the entire busload of people cheering as the man sees not one but a hundred yellow ribbons on that old oak tree! His lover not only forgives him, but she exuberantly welcomes him home.

Like the man on the bus, we’re fearful of death and what’s ahead. We know our own hearts, and we wonder if God will really forgive us, let alone celebrate our coming.
But the Word assures us of God’s welcome. The yellow ribbons will be there.

Harold L. Myra, Living by God’s Surprises (Word, 1988); quoted in Men of Integrity (January/February 2001)

Leonid Brezhnev’s Funeral

As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev’s wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.

Gary Thomas, in Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26