The Last Thing on My Mind

I’m thinking about death. A friend of ours just died, and another friend is beating it back with a big stick of chemo.
Attempting to appease Reality, my mind dances and chants around the night fires of grief in all its stages: denial, anger, and- as the drumbeats slow- acceptance. Acceptance not merely of the inevitable, but the grueling process of it all. Meanwhile death sits passively by, smoking, like a bump on the burning log.
My thoughts are mercury scattering in every direction from a broken thermometer. One thought says death can’t be that bad. I mean- all my friends are doing it; and those of us who know Christ understand that it’s not the end of the world. Okay- it’s the end of this world, but life goes on somewhere else- kind of like moving from one room to another. The problem is, I have a lot of people I love in THIS room, and also, I’m very afraid of stubbing my toes really, really badly and smashing all my fingers in the door on my way out. I’m pretty clumsy that way.
There are no directives on this “How to Live While Dying” thing (of course, we’re all doing that; we just don’t know it). But for those who have to keep their job so they can keep insurance, so they can keep having chemo which makes them so sick they can’t keep their job, have it just a wee bit harder than the rest of us. Also, for caregivers and care-receivers, there are very few answers for how to spend quality time (whatever that is) with a loved one, cheerlead what’s left of life together, plan an event for which there is no definitive date, transport to doctors, all while seeing to the shoppingcookingmowingbillpayingdusting. Not to mention laundry.
Times all this if kids are involved.
For all the incidentals- the stops and starts, fumblings and stumblings to the gates of heaven, there is no manual. But there is Emmanuel, and the poor Guy has gotten more than a piece of my mind lately about all this, which surprisingly, made room for the mind of Christ to be in me.
Eventually, we who cling to that cobwebby idea of Jesus Saves, discover it’s the steel cable that sustains us even- especially- as our lives dangle over the abyss. Turns out, Jesus is not the the blonde-haired wimp so many artists- and our prayers- suggest Him to be.
In the afterglow of my night fires, this big red ember remains:
“I know Whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
And with that, it occurs to me that death is the last of our worries, the final fretful thought to be swallowed up. Not one more thing will keep us awake at night.
Our next dance is at His place.
In the meantime, let’s see each other to the door. With a laundry basket under one arm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s