Saturday, March 1, 2014

On death...

This past Thursday evening, a dear childhood friend was killed in a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver. His death was tragic, untimely, sudden, and unexpected - a life gone by and yet a life lived on in memory. No-one will forget Mike. How can we? His love for those he knew was unconditional, non-judgmental, free, and can one forget that?

But Mike's untimely death comes on the heels of reports from the Ukraine, the Sudan, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and other strife torn countries...these are all deaths that touched the lives of mothers, fathers, children, family, friends, too...indeed, do they not touch us all? No-one on this side of eternity is ever free from the house of mourning for too long. Every breath snuffed out by death is a reminder that life on earth is temporary - a brief moment played out against the backdrop of eternity.

It is a strange thing - death - at once both an enemy and yet also a release - an invader and yet also an instrument in the hands of the one who holds the keys of death in his hands. Both Whitman and Donne recognized that death was a slave or a minister of Deity. On this side of eternity, we see death as a fiend and a robber - on the other side of eternity we see death as a door and a beginning. Corrie Ten Boom used a tapestry in her lectures on life. The back side of the tapestry represented life as we see it - a tangled mess of colored threads. The other side - the right side - revealed a beautiful crown - life on the other side of the door opened and closed.

Life is But A Weaving
by Corrie ten Boom (The Tapestry Poem)

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft' times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those

Who leave the choice to Him.

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