Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rerun Tuesdays

Posted by Leona Bergstrom

A friend died today.

It’s all too common of an occurrence lately it seems.

My friend: once vibrant, once wild with dreams and ideas--suddenly taken out by the swift blow from an enemy too strong to stand against any longer.

I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m even a little frightened by the reality of human vulnerability. I’m perplexed by the normative Christian response that she is “better off now.” I suppose that is true, but I don’t think her little 2-year-old granddaughter who thought her grandma was perfectly happy playing with her here would agree.

Once Jesus stood at the tomb where his friend’s dead body lay. He cried. I don’t think he just shed the kind of tears that embarrass grown men. He shouted words that would overcome death for one man for one time. He wept because as a human he experienced what every human before and after him has felt: The sting of death. The wretched reality that one will never walk beside his loved one again on this earth. Ever. The desolate awareness that a power so strong exists that it can snuff out the very breath of life.

Lazarus’ friends told Jesus it stunk. I think he agreed. I sure do. Death stinks.

Lest it appear I have lost faith, I haven’t. In fact, death probably makes me re-evaluate exactly what it is that I believe.

I’m banking on the other words Jesus said while he was here. Like the ones where he promised an eternal Kingdom where He would reign and the enemy called death would be dashed. Forever.

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