And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ... I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.
~ Matthew 28:20
I am reminded that I encounter death every day in my role as a hospice chaplain. In just one afternoon this week I was at the bedside of a man who marched across Italy during WWII, a man who was the President of a large Fortune 500 Company, and a woman who came to this country following the Vietnam War as a refugee.
All three very different situations and life experiences, but all three encountering eternity at the same time.
I remember being told the "only two things you can count on in life. Death and taxes."
Well, the death part for sure.
None of us are immune to the fact that one day we will die. Often when I meet a new patient, if they are able to share, I will ask, "What do you want your last day of life to look like?"
I don't know if any of us are ever ready to respond, but it is something that for those who are living with a life-limiting illness, they do begin to start thinking of this.
While I am aware that God is with us always, even until the end, I realize that "the end," is full of unknowns.
I am not even sure if Jesus could have been prepared for what he experienced on the last day of his life, and the last thing that any of us want on our last day is to experience great pain.
But like the woman who overcomes the pain of childbirth while giving birth to a new life, our death is about living out our faith and welcoming eternity.
While I may encounter folks at the end of their life on earth, there is some comfort in knowing that I am with them as they are entering into their new life in eternity.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.