That’s been the theme of the past couple months. Family members who are sick, friends who have died, church members who are dealing with both sickness and death.
Our neighbor rings the doorbell right as we are tucking in both our children and the long day. I can hear him talking through a tight throat as I say a goodnight prayer in the other room. Cancer. His father. Kidney and pancreas. It won’t be long.
The phone rings the other day but I don’t answer it. It’s someone who rarely calls so I assume they’re informing me that either someone has died or is about to. I just stare at the phone.
And that’s when I think of it.
It’s as though all of us are on this conveyor belt…this moving walk-way, if you prefer an airport analogy. We don’t realize it because it’s just our reality. We are all born onto this conveyor-belt-life and it’s really not that big of a deal because it moves so slowly that we forget we’re even moving. Some of us are taught that we’re on a conveyor belt, some of us aren’t. Deep down we all know, but we’re young and even if someone has informed us, we’re too busy to care.
Then one day, someone we love comes to the end of their conveyor belt and drops off into apparent nothingness. We are horrified. Numb and heavy. Especially if their conveyor belt seemed to run long in front of them. Even though we’ve heard there’s an end to all of our conveyor belts, the lull of the mundane skews perspective.
We forget that we won’t be here forever.
We forget that this isn’t all there is.
I mean, it’s easy to forget. Food has to be bought and washed and prepared and served and cleaned up and that alone is enough to make a mother of small children need a morning nap. There are immediate needs like laundry and homework and it kind of crowds out this thing called eternity.
Then, we suddenly remember because someone we love dissolves from our day to day and moves to this thing we call the eternal.
How then shall we live?
All I know to do is to follow the example of my new seedlings that have so bravely emerged from the dirt. When I open the shades in our bedroom, this is what they do. Reach with all their little might. Lean hard to the light.
What else can we do?
Grope in the darkness until we find the Light.
His name is Jesus.
And, just in case you’re wondering…He’s not hard to find when you ask Him to find you.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” Jeremiah 29:13