Friday, February 19, 2010

God loves dust

We are about to lose one of the elders of our community who is lingering near death today. When it comes, death will arrive as a friend to a man who has suffered the cruel symptoms of Parkinson's for many years and its accompanying dementia for the past several.
He is a few miles further down the road my father is traveling, and thus the end of his life strikes me in a more personally felt way than is often the case.
Being often with the dying was just one of the many things I did not fully consider when I finally surrendered my wrestling match with God over the whole ministry thing.
I don't know what I would have thought had I considered that reality 15 years ago. Perhaps it would have seemed frightening or overwhelming. I don't think I was wise enough to imagine that it would be a privilege.
Now I know better.
To be sure, it is still overwhelming to stand close to the unfathomable mystery of death, but it is not frightening, and it is mostly a humbling privilege.
The spirit is present in the company of death, brokenhearted in some cases I believe, filled with gratitude in others, and graciously welcoming in all.
We are dust, and to dust we shall return. But it seem abundantly clear that God loves dust.

1 comment:

The Singing Farm Wife said...

Beautifully stated. After spending time with my father-in-law in the hospital and being asked to do things like hold his private parts for him while he peed, I was there when it all ended. I felt priveleged to be a part of it, instead of revulsion or distaste for the difficulties of death. I thought I was strange to have had these feelings of privelege. Now I know better. Thanks.