Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Sunday, March 24, was my Dad’s 100th birthday. The date he was born and the date he died are special to me. Same for my Mom. I remember my nephew, born 23 May 1968 and died 22 October 1973. Not enough time in between those dates, is there?

I’ll remember the dates for my brother-in-law, but not with the same depth of sorrow as his beloved wife. The empty spots in her life exist in every moment, and grief will be more like the graphic’s right side.
None of us experience the grief drawn on the left in the graphic. Grief is not simple nor is it straight. There really are curves and loops and recrossings of the same path. There are regrets and recriminations, too. Lots of “what if’s” and “if only’s”, even though they are non-productive. They are human grieving. We don’t make our way “through” grief, we live with it.

Yet, in the midst, we find comfort. My father’s favorite verses came from John 14. The one that gives me most comfort also suggests an action:

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28)

I read an atheist’s description of death – that we would find it exactly as we knew life before we were born – nothing. He had no fear of death other than cessation of a life he enjoyed. Many religions teach of a continued spiritual existence. Even without proof, I would prefer to search for a continued existence.  Even without accepting there is a continued existence, non-believers discuss the subject, looking for answers before determining they cannot accept what believers do – eternal life. A man asked Jesus:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (Matthew 19:16)

The answer was a bit lengthy, and the man did not like it at all, leaving sorrowful. As he left, the disciples asked their own question:

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? (Matthew 19:25)

God’s answer was God:

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Paul understood:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I grieve, yet I rejoice because I believe I shall see my father again, my Mom, my nephew, my brother-in-law. I will know them just as Thomas knew Jesus:

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:28-29)

No, I have not seen, yet I believe. Is it simply because I cannot face the nothingness of the atheist? Or that the atheist cannot face the consequences of eternity? That choice stands before each of us. Once the choice is made to accept a power greater than ourselves, it is our responsibility to seek.

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

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