I read a very thought-provoking post titled Irony of Life by Vagus. I was linked to the story from Malaysian Medical Resources.
While I was much "nearer" to death itself this month, I posted the following comment at Vagus' site at that spur of moment –
Hi, linked here from MMR. Actually have been reading your blog for quite sometimes, not so regular, but frequent enough to have a glimpse into your “world”.
Perhaps to answer what’s life, we have to ask what is death. Life has four basic things opposite to death.
If death is fear, life is trust, hope and confidence.
If death is guilt, life is acceptance, security and assurance.
If death is hostility, then life is love, friendliness and even reaching out to others.
If death is emptiness, then life is fulfillment, fullness, good feelings.
I "experienced" three deaths for March alone.
The first death was a dear friend in Girls’ Brigade. She was 38, not married, dedicated one third of her life in the Girls’ Brigade Ministry. Attending her funeral service were hundreds of young girls whom she had nurtured and as the motto of Girls’ Brigade, bring girls to be followers of Christ.
It was trust, hope, confidence, acceptance, security, assurance, love, friendliness, fullness of life. It was not death.
The second death was my auntie. She was 88. The pastor shared on “Going Home”. The auntie was received by the Lord to His Home!
The third death was my colleague’s father. He was 59. The pastor shared an evangelical message, probably most of the family members and relatives are non-Christians.
I also attended a memorial service of my uncle. This uncle fought a good fight with the cancer cells for 5 years. He was 80 when he died in January 2006. At the memorial service, his book was launched. It was a colourful life, dedicated to family, society and especially towards the Chinese education. He was a millionaire. He did not die a millionaire.
These were totally different experiences.
If you have to look at what is death – fear, guilt, hostility, emptiness. Death is actually not the one waiting at the end of our life, it is something most of us experience right now. Can I say many of us are dead even if we are alive!
Just some thoughts to share!
Not long ago, I read a story of a very wealthy and well-liked man. Let's call him Ted.
When Ted died and his will being read, the family found Ted's plans for his own funeral! More than anything else, Ted wanted to be buried in his prized possession: a gold-plated, diamond-studded Rolls Royce convertible worth over a million dollars. Ted's family loved him dearly, so they followed his funeral plans exactly.
The day of his funeral came. Just as he wished, Ted was propped up in the backseat wearing his most expensive suit. His eyes were glued open and his mouth was pasted in a huge smile. The funeral procession through town to Ted's burial place included marching bands and Cadillacs full of VIPs. As the chauffeur-driven car came into view, the crowds cheered and clapped wildly for Ted.
Meanwhile, down by the railroad tracks, a stranger hopped off a slow-moving freight train hoping to find something to eat in town. Attracted by the noise on Main Street, the man pushed through the crowd. Seeing the marching bands and carloads of important-looking people pass by, he whistled in amazement.
And when the gold Rolls Royce came into view, the stranger's eyes grew side. Seeing the grand passenger sitting in the expensive convertible and hearing the wild applause of the crowd, the stanger could contain his excitement no longer. Pointing to Ted, he exclaimed to those around him,
"Now that's what I call really living."
Majorly clueless, wasn't he? Ted had all the appearances of living well, but as he paraded along in the Rolls Royce, he could not have been more dead!
What is death?
Perhaps, this Bible verse answers,
All who are related to Christ …. will be given new life.
1 Corinthians 15:22
A new life planned for us by Christ is far better than being propped up in a Rolls Royce for a parade!