Weekly Thought – July 25, 2017
Fred’s longtime friend Dr. Haddon Robinson entered heaven days ago. Strangely, the material slated for today’s email was a response to the death of a dear friend’s young son. His thoughts as he sat waiting for the memorial service to begin help us all think about the way we consider death.
Your messages to us this summer about the value of our BWFLI Prayer Network encourage us.
What We Learn From Death
A young adult was being wheeled down the hospital corridor toward the operating room from which few thought he would return alive. He knew the prognosis as well as they. Nearing the door he turned to a friend and said, “What I have believed I now know.” Before this experience he could only conjecture. Now, faced with death, he knew that which he had believed was true.
As I sit here waiting for the memorial service I am thinking about the boy’s death and his parents. I think about how I will face the service. His death has gotten to me so much more than others. Why, I am not sure. However, of this I am sure: I must prepare myself for the service. I see two alternatives: Either as an observer or a participant. I could possibly be a mixture of both, but then I would never really be either.
There are three types of observers: 1) the curious onlooker who is solely satisfying his personal curiosity about a morbid subject – death; 2) the social observer satisfying the expectations of friends and relations that he be there with them in body if not in spirit; 3) A reporter-observer helping others understand and see through another’s eyes – a helpful, but less than noble motive. An observer of either any of these types would have to steel himself to the reality of death as a personal affair.
I have chosen, really without option, to be a participant. As a participant I cannot steel my emotions but must accept my individual vulnerability for his death is part of me – the bells are truly tolling for me and I must accept each pain and consequently deal with the total agony. I am hurt by this death. I am touched by his family’s grief, and I weep with the friends who weep. There will be a small group of those well-meaning escapists who will pronounce death a celebration and while I respect them I will not be participating with them. For now I must grieve for the day comes only after the night. I know “we grieve not as those who have no hope,” but we do grieve as those who have hope, but now hurt.
I share in the reality of death, not whitewashing, spiritualizing, or avoiding. I participate in this service by acknowledging my own mortality and the consequences of sin. But I participate by sharing in the truth of the Gospel for this family today – and everyone other one of us. Our time will come.
Please think about this: 1) How do I handle death? 2) When I consider my own mortality how do my priorities change? 3) Who needs my word of hope right now?
Words of Wisdom: “Before this experience he could only conjecture. Now, faced with death, he knew that which he had believed was true.”
Wisdom from the Word: “When David was close to death, he told Solomon his son: “I am about to die. Be strong and become a man! Do the job the LORD your God has assigned you by following his instructions and obeying his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish.”” (1 Kings 2: 1-3 NET Bible)