Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Suddenly: Death.

I debated about this topic for several days.  I want this blog to be easy to read. But sometimes you just gotta write what’s on your mind.  So people, brace your selves. No bunnies and daisies here today.

Death is unpredictable. We all know that, but what really brings it home is when we are faced suddenly with death, or near-death, in our own lives.  Recently during church, one of the singers in the choir had and “episode.” Apparently she’d had a seizure and EMT’s attended to her right there on the alter.  It’s a very scary thing to be witness to someone else’s time of need.  Sometimes you need to jump into action, and sometimes you’re a helpless bystander.  Whenever death comes around, everyone pays attention.

Several months ago I was coming home from class when I came upon a road block on Spruce Hill’s Drive.  All the cars were being diverted through a nearby neighborhood.  As I was guided off the main road, I saw yellow caution tape had been placed across all four lanes of traffic.  A smashed car and a nearly unrecognizable wreck of a motorcycle lay in the middle of the road in the middle of the taped off area. Death was there.  There were police cars and fire trucks, but the ambulance or ambulances had already left the scene. I said a quick prayer for the people involved as I turned the corner. 

Three days later, I was involved in my own car-motorcycle accident. Death was watching, but fortunately, that was all. It all happened so fast.  One minute I was chatting with my friend as I drove us to a baby shower, and the next minute I was standing in the middle of the highway flagging down traffic, hoping it would stop and not hit me or the man writhing in pain in the middle of the highway. 

I held the man’s hand as the first person on the scene identified herself as a nurse.  As she worked, I continued to hold his hand.  I forgot to pray. I was so overwhelmed with the sudden-ness and urgency of it all.  The only thing I could think of was that if it was me lying on the highway, I would want someone to hold my hand. So I stayed and held his hand until the EMT’s needed me out of the way.

Then, just this week I attended a funeral for a family friend.  This gentleman had lived a long and generous life.  He was a man who gave to others, and his funeral was a testament to that.  It made me stop my crazy busy mind. It reminded me that I have a job to do. It helped me to be kinder and more forgiving with my thoughts and words. I realized the people I love most got the brunt of my attitude, and it needed adjusting. The words that were said about this man helped me realize that I could be a better me.  I hope it lasts.

If we lived life as if it could end at any minute (because it could), we would be so frazzled by the thought of the finality of every move we made.  God is gracious.  He gives us guidance in preparing for Death. He doesn’t let Death control our lives. However, Death waits for no man. Therefore, we must be LIVE life with gusto, glory, and honor.  That is what God wants us to do.

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