The frailty of life catches off guard, even when we see it plane in front of us. I was reminded of this reality once again as I attended a funeral this weekend.
Thailand’s national leader for Foursquare, Pastor John invited us to join with him as we remembered his father who passed at the age of 80. Yet this time, more than most, I realized how different a death can be. In the US, we presume Christianity on most and rarely wrestle with the questions of eternity. At least we do not outwardly struggle with the question of where someone is. At the least we hope to see them again on the other side.
On the other hand, In Thailand, the Christians in the church agonize over the never so subtle reality of where their relatives go. For the most part, they know their family is or is not Christian. Perhaps the abstract became concrete on Friday when we asked the church to pray for Pastor John and his family before I went north. The girl leading the announcements asked me if Pastor John’s dad was a Christian. When I responded that he was, she quickly replied, Oh good. That makes for a very different kind of prayer. The Christian faith which he found near the end of his life made for a different kind of ceremony too.
In the West, we avoid these questions of truth not wanting to cause excess grief. In a predominately nonChristian society, the truth smacks them square on the nose.
The gnawing feeling of death’s finality kept scratching away at my soul this weekend. So now what?
· I want to redouble my efforts to get the story out of what Jesus can do for people willing to turn their loves over to him.
· I want to maintain strong ties with my father, and extended family.
· I want to impart as much as I can into my daughter while I can.
· Finally, I want to live each day like it is my last.
How does death shape your attitude toward life today?