There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
~ 1 John 4: 18-19
Last evening several friends, and friends of friends, gathered at our home to talk about death and dying over dinner. As we shared of our "first" death experiences, personally and professionally, I was struck by how death had changed each of us. It is one thing to be present when a family member dies. It's a different sacredness to be present when someone who is a patient, or the stranger off the street, dies.
It amazed me how each of us could remember certain things about our experience, and how that invited a different understanding of death into our lives.
The sacred mystery of death, and for that matter, the resurrection, are found at the altar when we share in communion, but also, can be known within our own hearts as we proclaim to be instruments of the living Christ.
Whether we realize it or not, life and death are always before us. In our imaginations, our thoughts, our words, our gestures, and our actions. What we realized in our conversations last night is that we are all companions with one another. While our lives, our roles, and even our beliefs may be different, our ability to be companions with one another.
Our companionship includes times of suffering, as well as, the joy of loving. We realized that love is stronger than fear, life is stronger than death, and hope is stronger than despair. We have to trust the risk of loving is always worth taking. Jesus remains our companion through it all.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.