Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life and Death

A few weeks ago, my husband shared with me that one of our youth group kids had led a friend to Jesus Christ. I was so excited to hear that and know that another person now has eternal life. On Sunday, he left his earthly body (what we refer to as death) and went to be with his Savior. It's a strange and sad, yet somehow hopeful, passing.

I know the pain of death myself, having lost my daddy when I was 13. He was 38, and his death was a tragic accident, similar to this young man's. Something that shouldn't have happened, something that might have been avoided if circumstances were different, yet something that no one can change. I've often wondered if I could go back and change the way that day went, would things be different? I was there - I was in the Jeep when Dad flew off the back rollbars onto the dirt road. What if Chip hadn't been driving? What if we hadn't left the baseball game? What if Dad hadn't been such an adventurous and risk-taking guy? What if?

I can imagine all the thoughts going through many of his friends' minds today. Probably similar to mine the days following the accident. Yet, no matter how many times I asked those questions, he never came back. I often imagined that maybe this was just some big joke, or perhaps some way for Dad to escape and go live a different life. Perhaps he really didn't die - maybe he's out there somewhere. See, the last time I saw him was lying on the ground on his side, blood flowing out of his ear. I never saw him in the hospital. How could I be sure that was really him in the casket? Your mind does strange things when you don't want to believe something is true.

So now, as I listen to the cries and see the tears of the precious young men and women of our youth group, my heart aches for them. I remember the pain, but this time I don't feel it - at least not as deeply as I have felt other losses. I didn't really know this young man, and as tragic as it is, I can't feel the depths of his friends' pain. I can only hope and pray that God will bring them comfort as he did for me. I remember lying on the couch and weeping - realizing all the things that I would never get to do with my father. Everyone said, "It's going to be okay". And I knew it wasn't. It wasn't because he wouldn't be there at 8th grade graduation, when I played sports in high school, when I received my diploma, when I got married, or had my first child... no, it wasn't going to be okay. Yet, somehow, almost 12 years later, it is. I am okay. I am different, but I am okay. And I know that the only reason I am okay is because of Jesus bringing me the comfort and peace that only he can bring.


Retired Geezer said...

That was very good.
I guess you could call it 'The peace that passes understanding'.