I’m taking a break from writing a funeral message for my dear friend’s brother. He passed away completely unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep. He was just a few months older than me.
I think whenever someone we love dies, we find ourselves thinking about our own mortality. We are finite people living in a finite world. Everything dies. Nothing last forever. But the pain and grief of that loss will make you think otherwise.
My faith holds to the promise that death doesn’t have the final word. God does. How, remains a mystery that I can live with. I just trust, knowing that this world, as finite as it is, is also a world created with life, death and resurrection already built into the equation. We see this in the scientific world all the time.
An acorn that grows into a mighty oak. The oak eventually succumbs to its demise via fire or blight or some disease that causes it to die. In nature, the once mighty oak crumbles to the ground where slowly over time, the wood rots and the microbes become part of the soil. While the tree is dead, it’s not really. It’s biological make-up transforms into something new – new soil enriched and ready to grow another tree.
The summer clouds in the sky form and vaporize all the time, living and dying and living again as the water molecules continue to reshape and reform into other things like rain, humidity, hail, snow and so on. And the rain drops, dying to the sea, to become part of something greater. And even then, as its waves die upon the rocks, parts of it becomes mist that is carried to the heavens to be transformed into clouds again.
We are part of this creation, this scientific body of living, dying, and resurrecting. And that gives me hope. It reminds me that I am like the daffodils in my garden.
Their beautiful, bright, papery petals can only last so long. Eventually the sun or time will take them from me. Their long, green stalks will eventually be cut down, or eaten by our tortoise, or simply return to the soil on their own. But when I least expect it, they will re-emerge from the darkness underground, filling the garden once again with beauty and joy.
And so will each one of us. How, well...I honestly don’t know. But I can live with the mystery that everything that dies will live again.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”