A Holy Experience

A Holy Experience

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

It’s been awhile since I have had the privilege of watching someone pass from this life into the next. In my prior life in health care, I was witness to more than a few deaths that were expected after a long life well-lived as well as unexpected deaths in some kind of emergent situation and heroic life-saving measures. I say privilege because in a very real way it is indeed a privilege to be part of that process…to hold hands with the family as they surround the bed of the dying loved one…to pray with them and just be there for them. And it happened again today.
I’ve been a part of those kinds of events many times in my career in health care and now in ministry. It never becomes routine. It never becomes a ho-hum thing. It is always a holy and special time. Yes, it is a time for deep emotions and extended thoughts about the loved one, God, life, and the Other Side. But more than that, it is a time to, at least temporarily, put aside any petty family quarrels or thoughts about self and concentrate on the one who is making the journey to eternity.
It is also a time for wonder. What is the dying one thinking? Seeing? Hearing? What exactly happens, and how does it feel to have one’s spirit loose itself from the physical body? What will it be like when it’s my time to depart? Will anyone know? Will anyone care? Where will I go? How do I know?
Over the millennia, there have been many stories, teachings, doctrines, religious writings, and so on that attempt to describe death…the moment of death and what happens after that. Virtually all societies in all ages have come to a belief in some kind of afterlife. That in itself is no proof of the same; however, there appears to be something inherent, or hard-wired into the human psyche that points in that direction no matter what era, religion, or society one happens to be part of.
For the Christian, the writings we believe to be divinely inspired tell us much about death and dying and the Other Side. And they leave a lot out as well, tending to lead us to ask more questions than the writings have answers for. That’s not unusual, but it leads to much speculation and even misinformation. We need to take Scripture for what it is and not read into it what isn’t there.
I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed a death. If you have not, you need to do so if you have the opportunity. Contrary to popular cultural belief, it is not a morbid and weird experience. It is, for one properly prepared, a holy and reassuring experience for the one who has faith in God Almighty to keep the promises He has made to His creation and His people.

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