The sun shone brightly and a light breeze blew as we got ourselves into the car for our brief afternoon outing. The clouds, pure white on the azure background of the sky, added extra beauty to the drive. We made our way through the city, with its sky scrapers and important business, over a bridge, through a drab tunnel, with many others making their way out of town for the afternoon, or week, or maybe forever. Leaving the highway we took a road unknown to me, but lovely enough to make me look twice at the homes for sale along the way ,and wonder about asking prices. Pretty little places, extra appealing on such a glorious day.
It was on our way through the tunnel that I thought I should better explain to the children where we were going and how one is expected to behave there. In the background, a male voice on the radio sang, There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face, while I simply laid out what the kids could expect when we arrived at the funeral home. My throat tightened as I finished.
Our outing was an actual interruption our day, going to pay our final respects to a neighbor we knew for far too short a time.
After a little visit we loaded back into the car - the day still gorgeous all around us - picked up some things at the store, and talked of afternoon plans on our way home. When the kids occupied themselves in the back, I thought of my never-to-be-fulfilled desires to have John and Maria* over for dinner, to build a relationship with them, to let Maria get more time to play with the kids. Over the two weeks before her death I'd intended to have her over again to play with Katherine. She loved our baby. Now, there isn't another chance. It's so sad.
Death is so sad.
So not what God intended.
Such an interruption.
The grace? Death is not the endgame; death does not have the final say. Life does. In Christ we can partake of it as His brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the Living God!
What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
*names changed, just because it seems like the right thing to do