Monday, June 26, 2006

489: Life and Death

I just received an e-mail informing me that my Granddaddy (mother's father) has been given up to six weeks to live. His weight is down to 100 pounds and his white cell count is triple what it should be. He's an old man, really, at either 79 or 80 years old. (It all kind of blends together at that point anyway.) I will be sad to lose my last surviving maternal ancestor, but really, it's better for him, as he belongs to Christ, and Christ to God.

I'm hoping that this will be fuel for me. It hasn't really hit me hard. Grandma's death hit me hard (father's mother), but that's because to my perspective it was unexpected. Granddaddy's been on the decline for a long while now, so it lessens the blow. But I'm hoping the fuel comes in to my last days of ministry here in Thailand, as here, things really are a matter of life and death.

While in Taiwan last summer, I wrote the following, taken from this post.

On a sadder note, on the way back from the school at we saw a traditional funeral on the roadside. The family members were dressed in the robes of Chinese gods, and a man was walking around with an incense censer. Earlier this evening, I walked past the awnings where this funeral had been held, the incense still heavy in the air. Suddenly, it hit me. This funeral was for a person who was currently in Hell. One had been saved today, and the family of another had unknowingly commerated their beloved's eternal damnation. One saved. One lost. One lost. One lost. One lost. How many times do we have to read that before it hits us? Lost. Damned. Burning in Hell. Weeping. Knashing of Teeth. Lost.

Mere days before being martyred, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said "This is the end, for me, the beginning of life." That is the hope of the Christ follower, but to those who do not know, there is only hopelessness. May the peoples of Thailand, including the Central Thai with whom I (mostly) work know the hope of Christ that gives one peace in the fear of death.

And may God give Granddaddy grace to fall asleep in confidence and joy.


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