a word about death and life

I have been preoccupied by a lot of things this week. If I am honest, writing on the blog hasn’t been a priority. I want to write, but my mind is wandering around. You see our family had a visitor this week that doesn’t come around often, but when he does his presence reverberates.

This week death visited our family.

My uncle Jim lost his almost five year battle with cancer on Sunday night. After a series of ups and downs with a brutal combination of renal cell cancer and multiple myleoma, he decided to forego his treatment. He was indeed brave to do this because he knew it would lead him to his death.

uncle jim

Now, this isn’t a pity post by any means. Like a lot of folks in my family, my uncle lived several states away and I rarely if ever saw him. In fact most of my meaningful memories of him are at least twenty years old. So for me the personal pain isn’t what is on my mind.

I hurt more for my dad and cousins. I hurt for our grandma who might or might not realize what is going on at this moment due to her dementia. I hurt for Jim’s wife who married him only a couple of years before his diagnosis and was robbed of a lot of years of marriage.

You see, every death has an impact, even if it is not directly upon you. It hurts those you love and you can feel the impact through those relationships.

As I continue to work through lent I have to face brokeness. My eyes are opened to the deep scars on my own heart and those around me. As Jesus marched towards his own death during his ministry, I also have to face death in my own way.

I have to wrestle with injustice. I have to face my own fears. As I think about my uncle willingly taking on death to gain something much better, I have to deal with my own fears on the issue. Would I do the same? Do I trust in God’s promises enough to face my own death, let alone my fears?

Lent is powerful in this way. We face death and brokenness knowing that resurrection is coming. Death will not have the final word. Lent forces us to stare into the darkness knowing that Light is not far away.

Jesus led the way. He walked head-long into darkness knowing he would be separated from his daddy, but that his daddy wouldn’t fail him. So, we know we can do the same in his name.

Pray for each other during this season. Ask God to be with those facing true darkness and loss as they look towards resurrection. And, pray for my family this week if you would.

Peace be with you this week.

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