“You’re born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there’s a loophole.” ~Billy Graham
After spending the last few days on the east coast for pop-pop’s funeral, I’ve had a chance to think about Life and its apparent adversary – Death.
I remember one time years back, pop-pop was watching a news report about the average life expectancy age going up. He responded to the information by saying, to no one in particular, “It’s like they think we’re not supposed to die.” At the time, I laughed and shook my head at his gruffness, but now I understand a certain “Life philosophy” in what he said. The philosophy that there is more to Life than simply a beginning, a middle, and an end.
During pop-pop’s funeral, the preacher shared the story of when my Uncle Raymon (pop-pop’s son) was young. He had become severely ill and the doctors did not think he would live through the sickness. The preacher shared that pop-pop had taken my young mother aside and told her, “Peggy, your brother is very sick. He may not make it. But if he dies, we will thank God for the time we had with him.”
That story sat in the bottom of my throat, as I pondered whether or not, if in the same circumstances, I could say the same to my children. Or if I could thank God in the face of Death.
In pop-pop’s case, after mom-mom died, Death was a doorway to where he wanted to be – in heaven with God and mom-mom. He was ready for Death. The only thing he feared was the waiting, the loneliness, and the possible pain it would take to get there. But he didn’t fear Death. Because for pop-pop, Death has never seemed to be the enemy.
He knew that God had promised Life to him. The real Life. The Life that starts when we believe in Jesus. The Life that grows within us as we walk with God on this earth. The Life that comes to full fruition when we, in Death, pass out of this imperfect, earthly life and into the new, wonderful, eternal Life that God has been preparing for us.
I am so excited for pop-pop. I thank God for the time we had with him. And I pray that I, like pop-pop, will not fear Death.
“Do not fear, only believe.” ~ Mark 5:36