Face to Face With Death
Death, of those we love, changes us. For anyone who has gone through the loss of someone close, you know this. It is a silent transforming cocoon that affects us to the core. It is a firm, strong force that comes to test all we say we are and all we say we believe.
I awoke on Monday to the words of this song in my head, “I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm. Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar. Up from the ashes, hope will arise, death is defeated, the King is alive!” (Bethel Music, Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser)
As I prepared for the day, I saw a voicemail from a precious friend. She was coming to Colorado to go RMNP to find her husband, also a precious friend. He had been camping and hiking and had not shown up where he was supposed to be on Sunday.
News progressed, time passed, they found his body. He had fallen off a very steep ridge.
The details of all of this are many and I will not spend time on them here.
Tuesday night – these are the words I penned in my journal (normally a journal I write in at light of day, but this time it was after horrific news and I desperately needed to just pour out my heart).
"Death changes you…from the core and in the deepest heart of you…it changes you. There is no escaping, no running, no ignoring or avoiding, no clear answers or 'skating through.' Death of a stranger is easy, passive, moving in the mind from, 'oh that’s too bad,' back to the routine of the day. Death of someone you love…you do not just move on.
Death comes close, face to face, and stares you down. It comes to ask you questions, to seek your mind, to test your beliefs. It will be in your face, eye to eye, and carries no mercy with it. It is an enemy to the masses and there is no avoiding it. It will have its way with you.
YET…there is abnormal peace to be had, superhuman strength available, and grace beyond comprehension…this is the fruit hanging low to be picked for the soul who knows of and believes in Jesus. But because of Jesus – who faced death and conquered it – we can stare death back in the face and hold something higher than it in our sights. Though it brings grief and pain of such intensity, the reality is (however long it takes) we have been given what we need to win."
This is not to say we do not feel, or grieve, or we are not affected. No. Death changes us.
However, we are powerful and we can decide HOW it changes us. Though we may not know this as we are waging the battle, as we are doing the doing and the coping and the trying to move forward…but as we are diligent to walk through it and force ourselves to stand face to face with it. As we intentionally take hold of it by the throat and get Father’s heart in the middle of it; the HOW will happen with grace and strength and comfort.
We will be changed into beautiful creations by something that was meant to turn us into bitter souls.
Death will change us, and life will taste sweeter in spite of its’evil intentions.
Death changes me…Every. Single. Time.
But I choose HOW it changes me. “I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm. Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar. Up from the ashes, hope will arise. Death is defeated, the King is alive.”