Twenty-six packets lined the counter where I worked. Twenty six. Each one coded and colored and perfectly arranged; a contrast to the lives and loss they would soon represent.
I am a volunteer. A hospice volunteer. Sometimes I work in the field with patients; other times I work in the office. Both are difficult.
Last week was an office week. My job is to assemble admit packets — the legal forms, medical documents, instructions, declarations, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, so necessary to our Western way of dying. Sometimes it’s easy to get aggravatingly lost in the minutiae of it all.
Other times I am not so fortunate.
Other times I am acutely aware of the raw and impending loss these packets represent. Other times I can almost feel the trembling of the hands that must grasp this bitter fruit of my sad labor.
Those are the weeping times. Those are the times I must fall on the heart of Jesus, remembering the nature of this life of ours; the death of it too, and the Christ whose resurrection has conquered them both.
“He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.’” (Is 25:9, ESV)
In the video below, Paul Cardall, one of my very favorite musicians, transposes his own sense of grief and interwoven hope. I love this song…
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