We Humans …
I’m not certain just where to go with this blog post. It’s been a rather difficult and upsetting week for me, and I’m not thinking right now of a lot of heady spiritual things that would make a good blog. I’m more into thinking how much older I am, how that has affected my energy level and how I think about things like funerals (of which I’ve attended five in the last couple of months).
It is a given that if folks are born, there will be folks that also die. In fact, the writer of Ecclesiates tells us that there is a time to be born and a time to die…that there is a season for everything under heaven. That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier when someone you know and love passes on to the next life, but it does lend some perspective to an event that sometimes apparently hasn’t much of a rhyme, reason, or perspective of its own.
We are a complicated, odd, and strange lot, we humans. On the one hand, we relish life and all that it is, giving all we have to our survival, and the survival of others; willing to even lose our own life to save the life of another. On the other hand, we often do things that not only don’t enhance our survivability; we actively work to decrease our survival chances with risky behaviors, ill-advised decisions, and an air of invincibility. We go to war with each other, abuse each other, and keep each other in shackles, literally or figuratively.
We deny the reality of death by saying that someone has passed on or has expired. Or perhaps they have “gone on” or reached their demise. We embalm the body and dress it up so it looks normal and won’t decay. Yet in the next breath we embrace that same event by talking of someone no longer being in pain, or suffering, or being in a better place.
Now, I’m not saying that any of these things are bad. I say this to help you understand just how complicated we can be, and how much of a dichotomy things like death can appear to someone who may not be familiar with the ways of humanity.
As Christians, however, we need have no fear that the God we worship cannot understand why we do the things we do. If we believe that God created us and the universe we inhabit; if we believe that God came to the earth and was incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ; if we believe that God loves us with such a passion that He gave his own life for us, then we have no cause to fear that God somehow doesn’t understand or doesn’t “get it.” I don’t know how many times we (or at least someone) are told in Scripture to not be afraid (the old King James would be “fear not”), but I do know that it is a lot. I have wondered why that is the case, but as I think about it, it comes to me that we have no reason to fear…no basis for fear…if we truly believe in the One who sent His Son.
Do I still fear even though I know better? Yes, I do. And that is just one more way we as humans are more than just a little illogical and unreasonable at times. Yet with the help of God Himself, I can overcome my fear and I can become the person God wants me to be and has planned for me to be. Thanks be to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…the God of the living…for His unspeakable gifts!