I wrote this post last week, and with great sadness I add James Foley, the reporter of The Boston Globe.
Do you mind if we just talk friend to friend today, and I share with you something that’s been gnawing at me?
I read a post by Kimberly Rae in response to the tragedies our world has faced lately–the death of a famous race car driver, Kevin Ward, a beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams, and Christians martyred for their faith by ISIS soldiers.
She made the point that the world seemed shocked by death, but death is apart of life.
“We seem to see death as a surprising and unexpected tragedy, when the truth is that death is coming for all of us. Death is the given in life….The fact of death is not nearly as important as the how and why of death….. What stands out to me is what they died for, or rather, what they were living for that connected them with death.” ~Kimberly Rae (to read more of her article click on her name in blue in the first paragraph.)
She talked about dying for something worth dying for….like Jesus.
While I agreed and enjoyed her talented and educated writing, something kept nagging at my spirit. I kept thinking, “What is that? Why do I feel this way about her words about death?”
Not long after reading her blog I found myself meandering through old blog posts of my own. They were written in 2012, words that painted my struggle and recovery after my sister’s death.
After she died, I stopped praying. This is an excerpt from a post written 2 years after her death.
“It’s taken two years of life–just living and breathing, watching the sun rise and faithfully set over and over, breathing in the change of seasons, lighting birthday candles, buying Christmas presents, and making pumpkin bread. It’s taken two years to get back to where I once had been on my prayer journey. Back to a place of faith. No answers. Only faith that despite heartache and pain God is good and He answers prayer.”
I remembering crying out to God, “Why am I so upset? Why aren’t I rejoicing that she’s graduated to a much better place? That’s what I believe? What’s wrong with me!”
And I remember His answer, “You grieve because you were made in my image, and I’m a relational God. This life is all about relationship. You grieve because you miss her.”
That was one of those healing moments. There were others, but today’s not the day to share those.
Back to my original question of the day: “Why did Kimberly Rae’s post not sit right with me?”
As I continued to ponder this, a scene from the garden of Eden flashed through my mind, and this thought drifted through the gray matter called my brain,
“Man was never supposed to die. Humanity is shaken and shocked by death because you were not created to die. It was not the original plan; therefore, humanity will never get used to death.”
I remembered God’s words to Adam and Eve: “You must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” Genesis 3
Before their sin, death had no power in the garden. They would live forever with God.
No death. We can only imagine.
So when famous actors commit suicide, race car drivers are killed, children are martyred for the faith of their family who refuse to deny Jesus, or cancer kills our favorite and only sister, we crumple in grief. We blow up Face book and Twitter with our thoughts. We blog uncontrollably about our inability to pray or need to fast and pray. We try to make sense of it all but there is no sense of it to make.
Death still stings, at least on this side of heaven.
And it will until Jesus comes.
But He will come.
I love you friends. Thanks for reading. I pray there was some nugget of encouragement somewhere in these muddled words today. May Jesus be glorified.
Was there a posting last week from other writers concerning the world’ s tragedies that you disagreed with or found encouraging? What are your thoughts? Friend to friend.