Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unexpected Death

A sad day at work, today, as I discovered that one of the doctors I work with died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday. His wife is expecting their third child later this year and my heart aches for what this little family faces over the next while.

Both he and his wife have worked for a number of years in their busy hospital department and are well liked. A memorial service is being planned and I am sure it will be packed.

Instinctively, I imagine what it would be like if my husband died like this. Somehow, I need to personalise the pain to make it more real. In shock, I find myself drawing on connections to establish a sense of reality. Is it not enough that the pain exists? Somehow it needs to touch me, to be close. I do not like the tinge of voyeurism that comes with another's grief, but it speaks of our need to know and be known.

Losing a dear someone brings so much attention, especially when it is in tragic or sudden circumstances. Attention that can be initially overwhelming but fades all too soon as the world moves on. Moving on, as the people whose lives have been blown apart are left reeling and lost.

This broken, broken world where families are bereft, children fatherless, death uncontrollable. We desperately need someone to bring hope and healing. I cannot fix things. We cannot fix things. Despite our competencies, our professionalism, and our independence, our self- reliance is, in fact, baseless in the deep and lasting matters of existence and purpose. Part of my grief is desperation that we are so powerless, in the end, when it really matters.

The message of Easter is that I am powerless, but God is not. Jesus chose to come in innocence and die. God raised him from death to sit beside him in heaven. Relying on God's power and work to rescue us is based on truth. His power to defeat death has passed the burden of proof. He has already done it.

My grief gestates an urge to trust God more.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57.

Please pray that this family will know God's love, comfort and power, now and in the years to come.


Jenny said...

Beautifully written Kath - and such a confronting reminder of our need to keep focussing on the truth about Jesus. I hope you are able to grieve for your friend and his family without feeling too overwhelmed by it yourself. I agree - it is hard not to make it personal but sometimes we need the reminder of our fragility so we keep relying on God's sovereignty.

Kath said...

Thanks Jenny.