Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Day Al Died

My friend Al died. He died on the day my son was born seven years ago. Al was 50 years old when he died, but in my life he was only 3 1/2. Life. Death. Dates to remember of beginning and ending. The dash between two dates is all that marks life. One date a birth the other a death. These dates are only two of thousands of other dates: conception, marriage, birth of children, graduations, cancer diagnosis, baptism, newspaper articles published, and more (read more about Al). Just over three years ago I witnessed first hand Al and his wife Val experiencing a rebirth. We were surrounded in water. They admitted life was better with Jesus. They were willing to die to themselves and embrace an eternal life with God. I was there, right there. The change in their life was a joy to behold because we were seeing God at work in our human frailty. But then there was the surgery, the diagnosis, the treatments, and the prognosis. I am sad that six months to live turned out to be six weeks. I am sad his family must say, "goodbye for now." Still I will cling to the same hope that Al showed me. Life is better with God. Death is better in God. Just as Al will go on living beyond death, so I will go on living through death.