This morning as I was drinking my coffee, I got a call from the hospital that I was needed in the emergency room, once again. I am a volunteer chaplain there, so calls like this are expected, though thankfully not very frequent. I scrambled to get dressed, left my breakfast and coffee uneaten and undrunk on the table, and ran out the door to get to the ER. When I arrived, I found that a person had died shortly before and, as is often the case, family members needed care and guidance while processing the shock and immediacy of it all. I always do my best to provide comfort. Even so, it is often hard to know what to say since each person's relationship to the deceased is different, every person's experience of grief is their own, and everyone feels differently about how much or how little they want to talk with strangers about either.
Nevertheless, as difficult as the challenge of dropping everything to attend to strangers in a time of mourning can be, I still believe that death is worth dropping everything for. As Christians, we believe that death is an aberration from our created purpose and essence. God meant for our lives to persist beyond the temporary, present moments we live out from day to day. Our lives are meant to transcend beyond the here and now to the infinite beyond. When death cuts our lives short, it is always the Lord's work to attend to the families and friends who have lost a loved one and are now enduring this painful aberration. It is precisely for these moments that God gives us hope through Jesus Christ that these experiences are merely an aberration, not an end. We have hope beyond these painful moments that God has much more in store for us. This hope is so good and holy that it is even worth dropping everything to share it with others, again and again.
Rev. Seth Nelson, author of The Church Unknown: Reflections of a Millennial Pastor, writes this blog. The blog focuses on the future of the church as well as how God loves and cares for us in the present. He is a pastor in Ronan, Montana.