Thursday, July 23, 2009

Death and Dying

Did you know? The same enzymes that digest your food while you're alive will start eating your body once you're dead.

Do you think that is an uncomfortable fact? Why? Death is a part of life. Granted it is the end of life, but everything has an end. But let's fact it. We don't like talking about death. We don't like saying someone died. That is probably why there are more than 200 euphemisms for death.

If you are a "technical" writer, you might say that instead of someone dying, they were lost in translation or they collapsed their outline. Perhaps if you are a Julia Child fan, you could say that someone is pushing up parsley, they were put in the crisper, they are marinating in soil and worms, they are sampling the french onion soup with a salmonella soup, cooking for the Kennedy's, or you could simply say, "Just add maggots." If you are a writer, you could put it poetically by saying they made the big deadline or they went to the big spell checker in the sky. Trekkies might say they are sleeping with the Tribbles.

However, if you don't fit into any of those categories, don't worry. There is a lot you could say without ever uttering the word "die." People push up daisies, kick the bucket, go to meet their maker, rest in peace, are six feet under, cross over, cease to be, check out, depart, perish, croak, kick off more often than they just die. Being in Abraham’s bosom, sleeping the big sleep, having gone to one’s narrow bed, having gone to one’s reward, and having gone to feed the fishes are also something you could describe a dead person as well. Next time you want to point out that another bit the dust, remember that death doesn't have to be depressing. We don't need to sugarcoat death or dying, because there is hope.

One death. One resurrection. That is why we can have hope. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. What do we need to do? Repent and turn away from our sins. Jesus died on the cross for us so that even though we are dying, we can have hope.

Why am I talking about this? No, I am not just obsessed with death. I am just taking it to heart. Because I know that so often we just get caught up in living the day-to-day that we forget the big picture. We forget that someday we will die (that's right, die) and what will we have to show for our lives? Did we make an impact for Christ? I am not asking you to "leave a legacy," I am asking you to realize that you closer to your death now than you have ever been in your life because I want you to realize that every day is precious. Every day is an opportunity to share Christ's love. Share the hope that even though we are all born into the world dirty, rotten sinners, we don't have to have death be the end.

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. --Ecclesiastes 7:2

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