Death

I MISS YOU

This weekend I am with those who are grieving the death of a dear friend, Tom Beers.

This is one of those deeply felt losses which leave a ragged and gaping whole in your life.

This has been a season of losing people. Funerals have been far too frequent.

A year ago I wrote a poem from the perspective of believers losing a loved one in the Lord. If grief is touching your life, I hope these words are a balm of comfort.

I miss you

You were there, always

In warmth and knowing

How can I own this absence

Where do I put this sorrow

 

I know

you are not gone

But you are away

It seems so far

Yet memories are near

And your love is even closer

 

Life

had been full, for you were in it

Now a gaping space is here

It feels as if there is no way around it

I cannot find my way around it

Maybe for now there isn’t one

 

Thoughts

of you fall like rain, gentle and steady

Memories are like stands of autumn trees

       proud in their display

 Or summer fields fragrant in bloom

       gathered and shared

 

One day

you will no longer be far

This hurting is what will be distant

All will be healed

Not patched, but whole and new

New memories will flow, endlessly

 

Today

you know what angels sound like

You have seen the scars that made you  

       forever free

You have heard His voice

Heard Him say your name

 

I just took a breath

which means there is one less between

When you, me, He, we

Forever are in the center of all life is   

       meant to be

 

I miss you

because I love you

Because He loves me,

I only have to miss you for awhile

Kyle Huber 2013

WE CANNOT STOP IT

Death, it is not an every day subject, yet it is an every day event around us. We know it is real, and sometimes death thrusts itself in our faces, but generally we try to keep the subject of death as far to the edges as possible.

This is natural, because we don’t want death to come within our circle. Death tears, grieves and burdens our hearts. We often hear that death is a part of life. But actually death represents the brokenness that sin has brought to life.

Still, we all face death for ourselves and for everyone we will ever know. Death is hard, but it is both real and we might even say – ordinary.

Whether we think about death or not, it is not just coming, it’s on its way. Preparation for death should be in the mind of each one of us. Thankfully by God’s gracious mercy, death does not need to bring fear (although we cannot help that it brings sadness).

Part of God’s grace is to make very clear what is behind the veil of death. There are only two (eternal) options. The judgment of God in Hell, or the salvation of God in Christ’s Kingdom.

Because of our sin, all of us are driving to judgment. The only deliverance is through Jesus Christ. This is because only Jesus has resolved our sin problem by dying to pay the penalty of that sin. The Bible puts it this way:

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36

Those who trust in Christ as their deliverance have the guarantee of Heaven, because Jesus has fully removed from us the one reason that could keep us from Heaven.

Whatever our eternal destiny, death is a door we all go through. Since we know death is coming, preparation for death should be more central in our attention than the edges of our mind.

And if we are in Christ, death brings wholeness, rest and delight, all of which will never know interruption. This too is worth keeping in the center our minds. 

A VERY IMPORTANT EVENT FOR YOU

Michael Gerber is an author who writes for the entrepreneur. I don’t spend much time reading in this area, but I recently saw an article that quoted Gerber as he creates this interesting scenario for our contemplation:

Imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of your life. It will be held in a room large enough to seat all of your friends, family, business associates—anyone and everyone who is important to you and to whom you are important. Do you have the picture?

The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries. The lighting is subdued, soft, and casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests. The chairs are handsomely upholstered in a matching golden fabric. And the golden carpeting is deeply piled.

At the front of the room is a platform, and on the platform a large, beautifully decorated table with candles burning at either end. On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention- a large, shining, ornate box. And in the box… is YOU! Can you see yourself lying in the box? There’s not a dry eye in the room.

Now, imagine that these people that matter so much to you have five minutes to speak. What do they remember most about you? Appreciate most about you? What did your life mean to them? What impact did it have? What have they lost with your passing?

We don’t realize until near the end, that our funeral is the event in question. Gerber did not write this from a Christian or spiritual perspective, but his questions are good ones for us to consider. 

What impact is our life having?

How will people remember us?

How would people describe us

What would people say right now about what we value and pursue?

Good questions indeed!

A PERSPECTIVE ON DEATH and LOSS

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Last year R.C. Sproul Jr (son of the famous author and theologian) lost his wife, Denise, to the invasion of cancer. Afterward he wrote these thoughts which reflect the pain and hope believers experience in the death of those we love who are in Christ.

“Denise was carried by Jesus out of the valley of the shadow of death. She now dances with Him on the mountain of the lightness of life. She has, rightly, wisely, and through the very love of our Savior, left me. And I feel lost. By His grace, however, I have a path to follow. For His pierced feet leave bloody prints all the way out of the valley, all the way up the mountain. I will follow Him, who promised to be with me, even until the end of the age. He is a blessed man to dance with her. I am a blessed man to follow Him.”